One of the first things I noticed about Alaskans is they take pride in their foods. At my first potluck back in 2009, I was surprised and impressed to see the majority of food on the table was harvested right here in Alaska, and mostly from folks’ own backyards.
Today’s potluck was no exception. We feasted on muskox chili, moose roast, halibut lasagna, king salmon chowder, halibut and shrimp gumbo, venison chili mac, halibut and prawn chowder, venison roast, pheasant stew, and venison meatballs with blueberry jam. Needless to say, there were no leftovers, and the only thing missing was the Arctic delicacy, kiviak.
Being raised in a big Southern city, I’ve had a longstanding aversion to bizarre foods – until I moved North. Living here in the Last Frontier has taught me these unique Alaska foods aren’t really all that bizarre. They might be considered strange to some, but they are a valuable part of culture, customary usage, and age-old tradition. I love the fact that Alaskans make the most of what nature serves up and that subsistence is a way of life here. Whether visiting or living here, you've got to at least try everything once! Even beaver ball sack tea.