The Native Alaskan Frozen Dessert That Pairs Sweet And Savory Flavors

Did you know Alaska is the largest state in the United States (per Travel Alaska)? If you've ever visited Alaska, you might've experienced the state's grand national parks, massive glaciers, diverse wildlife, historic cities, and beautiful mountains. Interestingly enough, it's one of the best places to see those magical Northern Lights in the night sky. But that's not all — Alaska is also well-known for its indigenous culture and hand-carved totem pole art (per Celebrity Cruises). And if you thought that the state doesn't have a signature cuisine, think again.

TasteAtlas revealed a list of traditional Alaskan foods, such as Alaskan smoked salmon, jellied moose nose, and reindeer hot dogs, which contain sausages made with a combination of pork, beef, and caribou. There's also the humorously-named Duck Fart, a shooter made with a layered mixture of Kahlúa, Irish cream, and whiskey. 

And one of the most exciting foods of Alaskan cuisine is a traditional frozen dessert that pairs sweet and savory flavors. Apparently, it's so good that it will make some people go on an Alaskan vacation just to taste this delicacy.

Akutaq is a frozen treat made with fat, oil, berries, and water or fresh snow

This Alaskan frozen dessert is called akutaq or akutuq, which is a Yupik word that means "to mix together." The frozen treat dates back many years in the past, when the Natives prepared it to survive, according to the Alaska Native Knowledge Network. Atlas Obscura reports that akutaq is prepared in many different ways, but the main ingredients are fat, oil, berries, and either water or fresh snow. Ground caribou meat or dried fish are usually mixed with blueberries or salmonberries (or both), seal oil, and fresh snow to get a frozen dessert with flavors that can be sweet, salty, gamey, and briny. 

Akutaq is traditionally made by hand, although modern versions are often made in electric mixers. However, the flavors of akutaq change depending on locally available ingredients. Up north, bear and musk-ox fat are often used; coastal areas use saltwater fish, while those living inland use freshwater fish. And Matador Network says that Crisco has become a favored addition to akutaq, giving the frozen treat that much-needed fluffiness. 

It wouldn't be a bad idea to consider visiting Alaska and indulging in this indigenous dessert while celebrating its Native cuisine in the process.