To The Past has a home cooking project of pioneer recipes from each
Natives moved to summer camps for their annual whaling and
subsistence hunts. We also had stampeders, soudoughs and
cheechakos who created 'field meals' from whatever they happened to
have on hand. That's what I plan to share here. Since each
culture had its own nutritional diversity, there will be two sections,
one for each group of people.
First off, not all Alaskan Natives are Eskimos. There are nearly 250 Native tribes in Alaska
alone, and depending on the regions they lived in also depended on what
they ate. Admittedly, as
Native societies became more urbanized, their diet gradually changed to
include many Western foods.
However, this is about 'back in the day' when stores weren't on nearly
every street. Very generally speaking, Natives were hunters and
gatherers - fishing and whaling in the summer and fall, hunting big
game in the fall, trapping water mammals in the spring, and harvesting
vegetable foods (grasses, tubers, roots, berries, stems and edible
seaweed like kelp where possible) in the spring, summer and fall.
This food was collected and preserved for the off-season and especially,
Those argonauts (for
that's what they wished to be called) headed for the gold fields initially brought provisions to Alaska with
them - flour, beans, hardtack, etc. They fished, trapped and
hunted. It's likely many would have survived those early, rough
years had they known how to live off the land and sea like the Natives
did, for once their supplies ran out, without a poke full of gold to pay
high prices for food, nettle soup became a staple.
So, which group are you