The other night I was watching Andrew Zimmerman's show Bizarre Foods and they were showing food from Alaska. The showed this one dish called Eskimo ice cream and I looooove ice cream. However this is ice cream is not what we generally think of when it comes to ice cream.
Akutag (phonetic:agoodik) or Eskimo ice cream means “the blended one, the mixture.” Traditionally it is made with:
1 lb. dried (grated or shredded)
1 c. seal oil
1 pint salmonberries
3 c. blackberries
1 c. sugar
Hunters would take this mixture with them on long trips as a quick source of nourishment.
I looked up reindeer fat and found that it is very nutritious and contains a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids. I think this is due to the fact that the reindeer feed on mostly grass. Seal oil is also another good source of omega-3's. Salmonberries are are close relatives of raspberries and black berries. They a light reddish yellow color and one of the numerous berries North American Indians gathered to incorporate into pemmican. They got their name from the the Indians fondness for eating them with half dried salmon roe.
Sugar is a new addition and was not traditionally apart of the recipe as the berries were sweet enough. I think that the more refined sugar became available and was consumed by the Eskimos the more they started to add sugar to the akutag.
Unfortunately today this healthful, nutritious treat is being made with fake, dangerous fat such as Crisco. It never fails that modern way of preparing food strips most of the nutrition from it.
I wonder if this Eskimo treat had any influence on our version of ice cream?