Saturday, March 14, 2009

Eskimo Ice Cream

The Inuit people of Alaska have a distinct version of ice cream. It's not creamy ice cream as we know it, but a concoction made from reindeer fat or tallow, seal oil, freshly fallen snow or water, fresh berries, and sometimes ground fish. Air is whipped in by hand so that it slowly cools into foam. They call this Arctic treat akutaq, aqutuk, ackutuk, or Eskimo ice cream. Akutaq is a Yupik word that means mix them together.
This is a delicacy that Alaska Natives have thrived on for thousands of years. This recipe was made by Natives a long, long time ago for survival and was used as a special traveling food. When hunters went out to go hunting, they brought along akutaq.
Akutaq can also be made with moose meat and fat, caribou meat and fat, fish, seal oil, berries and other Alaskan things. Women traditionally made akutaq after the first catch of a polar bear or seal. Traditionally it was always made for funerals, potlatches, celebrations of a boy's first hunt, or almost any other celebration. It is eaten as a dessert, a meal, a snack, or a spread.
Today, Eskimo ice cream is usually made with Crisco shortening instead of tallow and with raisins and sugar sometimes added. The region of Alaska lived in usually determines what berry is used, and each family usually has their favorite recipe for Eskimo ice cream. It is said that your choice of berries used in making Eskimo ice cream is a lifetime decision. It is okay to eat any flavor made by others, but if you are caught making more than one kind, you will lose all social standing .

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Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...

sounds interesting and very original. but isn't it also quite disgusting? have you tried it???
love, Sarah sofia
P.S.: really didn't know that you were a woman...!!!
what is your name?