May 20, 2012

Animals I've Eaten This Year

Living in Alaska has introduced me to so many new things. I've learned to live life differently here and be more adventurous in my daily-doings. M. and I have been chatting on and off the past few days about what we want to do when we get to Anchorage (tomorrow!) and that inevitably brought us to the subject of food and how great it will be to eat a salad and drink a beer... yes, as a whole meal. Beer. Salad. Don't judge me.

Anywho, that made me think of a fun post (finally! I've been lacking in the inspiration department recently) for people to see. I shall call it: Animals I've eaten this year...

We'll start with the basics and work our way up to the more... exotic? Eskimo? You pick.

1. Moose

We eat a TON of moose. A lot of it was given to us by friends saying thank you for helping them clean, skin, cut, and grind said moose. Moose is very similar to beef, and tastes good just about any way you prepare it.

2. Salmon and Halibut

Salmon and Halibut are pretty darn common in our diets... they show up as school lunch quite often and that's just fine by me. Yum.

3. Caribou/ Reindeer

These are not native to our region, and hunters have to travel to catch them. I got some as a thank you when I went to help clean two that a friend's husband had caught. Debbie and I also ordered some Reindeer sausage from Anchorage in the fall and that was extra super tasty. If you ever visit Alaska try one out, they sell them from street carts downtown.

4. Ptarmigan

Bird hunting is big here, I lose a population of my students from class every fall and spring so they can go bird hunt "other side" (of the mountain). The birds just recently came back into Scammon and it's all anyone can talk about, it's also pretty weird to hear after a winter of silence.

5. King Eider

I don't have much to say about this bird. They're very pretty to look at. Perhaps my least favorite thing I've eaten this year was the fat from this bird. Oh eew....

6. Herring Eggs

These are served one of two ways: mixed into a kind of cold Eskimo salad or soaked in oil and served by themselves. Pretty tasteless and VERY crunchy.
7. Bearded Seal

Seals are an important part of the diet and lifestyle here. Their skins show up in hats, gloves, and coats. Their meat is a big part of the diet here (texture= moist beef, taste= fishy, verdict= confusing for my mouth). And pretty much everything seems to be dipped in seal oil. 
8. Lynx

This is not something commonly eaten, but their fur shows up in hats and gloves and it very warm! In the fall, before our food arrived, a teacher went hunting an caught one of these. We turned it into a stew, because the meat is tough like rabbit. It wasn't too bad.

9. Beluga Whale

Yes. I ate a whale. Two of them swan into our river in the fall and their meat was distributed among the village. It's fishy, fatty, and oily. Eaten raw or boiled.

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