Ice Cream – Alaska’s Top Delicious Dessert Choice
By: Courtney Dowd-Stanley
When I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! Can you think of more delicious dessert available? We can’t! However, we were shocked to find out that the seemingly coldest and most “frozen” state in America also consumes the very most ice cream per capita. So why do you think Alaskans are so obsessed with this sweet treat? Is it because we are already hunkered down and hibernating in the winter, so we might as well keep the “chill” going by opting for this frozen goodness? Or do you think Alaskans mainly consume overwhelming amounts of ice cream during the long + light summer season (because those “hot” temps have us sensitive Alaskans craving a cool-down)?
While the results across the internet weren’t exactly full-proof, most sources point to the same end result: Out of the top ten states in America, Alaska consumes the very most ice cream per capita. District of Columbia came in second and Delaware got the third place ice-cream consumption trophy. The original list was based off a study by Bundle which was eventually acquired by Capital One.
The Native Alaskan culture has been making traditional ice cream for longer than any of us have been around. Yakut, from the Inupiaq word meaning “to stir” is a frozen ice cream treat made by whipping snow, seal oil, and berries together. Mixing caribou fat and seal oil (and sometimes some water or fresh snow) together makes almost a whipped frosting-like texture that is actually so scrumptious. Traditionally this was done by hand only, although today electric mixers are not so uncommon to make more of this goodness quicker.
Back in the not so distance day, many Alaskan communities even held cooking contests in which they would enter in rare blends of Akutuq made from a variety of different ingredients including caribou, bear, or even musk-ox fat. Hints of saltwater and freshwater fish is also not uncommon. Other regions would through in things like blood, beaver, otter, and bird eggs. Many of the more modern versions swap out items like blood and beaver for oil oil, butter, or Crisco.
There are so many amazing places in Alaska that serve up the best delicious dessert around. Hot Licks in Fairbanks, Wild Scoops in Anchorage, or The Ice Cream Shop in Girdwood… just to name a few.
While were at it, we’ll name a few more: Rochelle’s Ice Cream Shop in Chugiak, Kone Kompany in Skagway, Harbor Street Creamery in Seward, Coppa in Juneau, or Moose A’la Mode in Anchorage. Off the Sterling Highway towards Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula, there is even a massive ice cream shaped building that is generally open seasonally to serve up these sweet treats that Alaskans love.
What is your favorite delicious dessert to indulge in? Do you have an ice cream spot in Alaska that you recommend we add to our bucket list? Let us know!
Looking for another great read? Check out, 30 Scrumdiddlyumptious Alaska Recipes To Tantalize Your Taste-Buds. If you love Alaska’s idyllic charm, check out these 11 charming Alaska small towns that’ll leave you wanting more. Buckle up and prepare to enjoy: Road-Trippin’ Alaska; Your perfect way to escape the crowds in 2020. Also, for all of your adventurers that like an off the beaten path experience, take a look at America’s least-visited National Park located right here in Alaska.