If you find yourself in Alaska and are offered Eskimo ice cream, you may want to ask for further clarification before accepting. What you probably won’t get is the Eskimo Pie ice cream bar. Instead, you’re likely to receive Akutaq (pronounced “agoodik”), the true Eskimo ice cream.
While this treat is popular throughout Alaska, it’s components didn’t sound too tasty to me. Recipes for Eskimo ice cream vary based on what part of Alaska you visit, but most call for reindeer fat as a key ingredient. If you’re having trouble finding reindeer fat at your local market, you can substitute with caribou or moose. You’ll also need animal oil. Seal, walrus or whale works best. Add in some trout or salmon, combine with yummy fish liver, and throw in some dried salmon eggs, berries, and sugar. Freeze and serve.
If the old fashioned method doesn’t entice you, try the modern version of Akutaq. Vegetable shortening replaces the animal fat, and a lot of the less appealing ingredients are eliminated. I, for one, will be treating myself to the kind of ice cream we find here in the lower forty-eight.