Alaska Local Foods

How to Eat Locally In Alaska

No one really understands eating locally as many Alaskans do. Hunting, fishing, and gathering are state-wide obsessions. Use the farmers markets listing, seasonality guides and more to take advantage of Alaska's all too short growing season.

  • 01 of 07
    cabbages
    Many Types of Cabbages. © Getty Images

    Whether it's a quick apple harvest or the short wild blueberry season, find what's in season during Alaska's short growing season with this Alaska Seasonal Produce Guide. While the specifics will vary throughout the vast state, and from year to year, you'll get a good sense as to when to look for each type of fruit and vegetable. With such short growing seasons, you'll want to be ready to can, freeze, dehydrate, or make preserves from these fruits and vegetables.

  • 02 of 07

    Shopping at Farmers Markets

    Alaska. Photo © Getty Images

    You can find farmers markets in Alaska - including days and hours of operation by visiting the Alaska Farmers Market Association website. Some operate only late spring through fall, while others are in operation year-round. See tips for shopping at farmers markets.

  • 03 of 07

    Alaska Crab

    King Crab Legs
    King Crab Legs. © James and James

    "The Deadliest Catch" has made the Alaskan crab fishery common household knowledge. What they're catching is commonly called "Alaska King Crab" but is more correctly known as Red King Crab. Alaska Snow Crab is also available in Alaska. In either case, check out How to Boil Crabs to enjoy fabulous local eating.

  • 04 of 07

    Alaska Game

    More than other states, Alaska has hunters who feed themselves and their families with their take. Moose licenses are particularly prized in The Last Frontier (see this excellent description of the importance of moose in the Alaskan diet). Bear, mountain goats, elk, caribou... they all come into play in the diets of many people in Alaska.

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  • 05 of 07

    Alaska Salmon

    King Salmon, Headed and Gutted
    King Salmon, Headed and Gutted. Photo © Molly Watson

    Copper River, Bristol Bay, Yukon River... these are geographic points in Alaska and brand names for wild salmon. Alaska is home to all the varieties of Pacific salmon.

    Want real Alaska salmon? Look for wild-caught, Alaska salmon from your fishmonger or you can buy directly from a fishing family at Copper River Fish Market. Once you have it, check out how to cook salmon. You can grill it, broil it, smoke it, cook it on cedar planks, salt cure it, bake it in parchment paper, poach it, or enjoy it...MORE raw in poke or sushi.

    For amazing Yukon salmon smoked in the traditional way, go to Kwik'pak Fisheries. They take the wonderfully fatty salmon that spawn in the amazingly long Yukon River and smoke it into delicious plain or seasoned smoked salmon, tradition Keta strips, sweet Keta candy, and full smoked filets.

  • 06 of 07

    Alaska Berries

    Salmonberries and Blueberries
    Salmonberries and Blueberries. Photo © Molly Watson

    Alaska may not be covered in wild berries, but parts of it sure feel like it come summertime. Wild blueberries, wild cranberries, and wild salmonberries are easy to find in the southern part of Alaska.

    These get frozen or made into jams and jellies to keep winter sweet. See How to Freeze Berries for tips.

    For people who'd rather hunt than gather, or stay home rather than either, the Seldovia Village Tribe (operating as Alaska Pure Berry) out of Seldovia, Alaska makes delicious wild blueberry...MORE jam and jelly, wild salmonberry jam and jelly, and even fireweed jelly and pepper jelly.

  • 07 of 07

    Alaska Food Festivals

    As you might expect, food festivals in Alaska tend to focus on the state's bountiful seafood. You'll find seafood festivals celebrating the bounty of the rivers and oceans. As well, there are craft beer festivals and more to celebrate Alaskan food and drink.