Much like the majestic state itself, Alaska has some of the most diverse cuisines in the world. Famous for its variety of wild salmon, the culinary choices reflect the region’s native culture with a variety of choices ranging from dishes made with moose, elk and caribou to the indigenous treat known as muktuk. Alaska is an adventure for both your spirit as well as your taste buds so be sure to sample all the Last Frontier has to offer.
Meat Dishes: With elk, caribou, reindeer, moose and bear in abundance, it’s no wonder this wide range of game appears on the menu. Moose stew, moose jerky, caribou chili, reindeer hot dogs (the equivalent of a New York hot dog) and reindeer sausage (a breakfast staple) are quite popular. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a lean and protein filled organic yak burger (think bison burger) which is all the rage and a good alternative to beef.
Alaskan Seafood: Wild salmon is synonymous with the nation’s 49th state and with so many varieties to choose from, you will have no trouble finding it on the menu. Sockeye (red salmon), silver salmon, and Chinook (also known as king salmon) are wonderful when steamed and served cold with melted butter. Enjoy Alaskan Seafood on Regent’s Mountain Peak Flight Seeing & Crab Fest shore excursion, and after your voyage, explore a salmon recipe from our Culinary Arts Kitchen Executive Chef, Kathryn Kelly.
AQUAVIT-CURED SALMON GRAVLAX
makes one 16-ounce gravlax
- ½ cup kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
- ½ cup maple sugar
- 4 juniper berries, lightly crushed
- 4 allspice berries, lightly crushed
- 1 bunch dill, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons aquavit
- 1 16-ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillet
To prepare the dish, mix together the salt and sugar in a small bowl. On a large work surface, roll out plastic wrap about 3 times the size of the salmon fillet. Sprinkle half of the salt and sugar mixture in the middle of the plastic — about the size of the salmon fillet. Top mixture with half the crushed peppercorns, juniper and allspice berries, dill and aquavit. Place the salmon on the curing mixture, and then cover the fish with the rest of the curing mixture. Wrap the salmon loosely in the plastic and then double wrap in another piece of plastic.
Place the wrapped salmon on a sheet pan and refrigerate. Turn the fish every 12 hours. Depending on the thickness of the fish, it will be cured in 24 to 36 hours. Unwrap the fish when it’s cured and gently rinse off the curing mixture. Thinly slice before serving.
Alaskan Beer: The Last Frontier has some of the best breweries in the country. Blame it on the state’s glacial waters as the perfect ingredient for stouts, pilsners, ambers and porters that contribute to the burgeoning beer scene. Craft beers are increasingly popular and the state boasts some 27 breweries where there is something for every taste. Visit the local breweries on our Astoria Ale Trail shore excursion.
Don’t Forget Dessert: Akutaq a.k.a. Eskimo ice cream is a classic Alaskan dessert and not the traditional treat you might think. Pronounced Auk-goo-duk, it is made with reindeer fat and seal oil, fresh snow and ground meat that consists of caribou, bear and occasionally some saltwater fish. Again, this is not your average cone of ice cream! Wild berries (raspberries, blackberries and blueberries) are in abundance which translates into delicious cobblers and puddings. And if you’re wondering about the classic ice cream/cake/meringue concoction known as Baked Alaska, it originated at New York City’s Delmonico’s restaurant to commemorate the purchase of Alaska from the Russians in 1867. Food historians also note it was first discovered at New Orleans’s Antoine restaurant while a cookbook in 1894 featured it under the name of Alaska, Florida. Whoever invented the dish, it remains a gastronomic delight.
Experience the unique and delicious cuisine from Alaska on your next cruise voyage with Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Bon Appétit!