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Old 09-19-2018, 04:17 PM
Location: Cody, WY
9,187 posts, read 10,136,018 times
Reputation: 18283


Originally Posted by karlsch View Post
More unusual than mayonnaise, Eskimo Fish Ice Cream

For 12 years I lived in Bethel, Alaska, 400 miles from the road system, out on the flat tundra in far western Alaska, where tourists seldom tread. The majority of the people in Bethel and the surrounding villages are Yup'ik Eskimos. The Yup'ik have their own recipe for ice cream.

My neighbor, a school teacher, wrote up this recipe. It's not copyrighted, it's OK to pass it on:


by Robert Davis


First, drop your preconceptions. Fish ice cream is good stuff. Huge tubs of it disappear at every
potlatch, and youíll reveal yourself a true Gasuk (Anglo) if you donít spoon it down as quick as the rest.

Second, you need berries. Exactly what kind is a major controversy in the villages. Iím a cranberry
man, myself. Tartness goes well with fish. But a lot of people will defend blueberry fish ice cream to
the last spoonful. Itís sweeter. I guess I should also mention the few perverse souls who prefer
salmonberries. But theyíre like people who put anchovies on pizzaóyou just canít take them
seriously. Anyway, you need berries. And remember, your choice is a lifetime decision. Itís okay to eat
any flavor of fish ice cream, but if youíre caught making more than one kind youíll lose all social
standing. Traitors are regarded suspiciously by all sides.

Pick your berries in late August, before the frost turns them to mush. You can find cranberries
almost anywhere. They litter the moss under the spruce. Blueberries are scarce. They grow in patches,
which are staked out early by the blueberry fanatics. Cranberry people like to raid these patches at
night, and then bring blueberry pies to the potlatches and watch the blueberry people get stiffed lipped. (I donít believe in enabling, so you anchovy/salmonberry freaks have to find your own
berries). Oh, when you go to pick your berries, bring a gun; bears like berries, too.

The next ingredient is fish. By general agreement, whitefish is the best. They run in September, just
before the river freezes. In an afternoon or two, you can catch enough fish for ice cream and to feed
your dogs through the winter. In a pinch, itís okay to use pike, but people will think youíre cheap. Never, under any circumstances, use salmon. Thatís gross! Oh, and when you go fishing bring a gun;
bears like fish, too.

The last two ingredients are sugar and Crisco. If youíre Midas, you can walk down to the store and
buy what you need. But if youíre trying to live on a teacherís salary, order it from a catalog and
have it mailed in. Order early though, especially in the winteróplanes donít fly when itís fifty below.
Oh, when you pick your order up at the post office bring a gun; village store owners hate people who
buy their food out of catalogs.

Now, youíre ready to begin. The exact amount of fish is up to personal taste. But remember, youíll be
called stingy if you bring less than 10 gallons of ice cream to a potlatch. Youíll need at least four or
five big whitefish. Cut the fish into fist size chunks, cover them with water and boil until the meat
begins to separate. Take the pan off the stove and let it cool. Wrap the fish in a cloth, preferably
clean, and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Drink the juice while itís still lukewarm. Dump the squeezed
fish into a big container. Then add equal measures of sugar and Crisco. Mix well. It should be the
consistency of stringy putty. Mix in a gallon or two of berries and chill. Serve. Be sure to leave room
for ďrotten fishĒóa locally produced popsicle of raw, fermented grayling or trout, frozen and dipped
in seal oil.
That's not a recipe.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:06 AM
Location: South Bay Native
13,050 posts, read 21,163,651 times
Reputation: 22525
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
That's not a recipe.
It's more like a roadmap for convulsive vomiting.
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