Akutaq is Eskimo Ice Cream, made with the ingredients that my mom taught me to use and in the way her mom taught her. First you have to chop your fish into three sections, throw away the head, tail, and the guts. Then let it boil until its done, after its done you squeeze the fish until its dry then take out bones. You can use white, salmon and sometimes pike fish. Whatever kind of fish you admire. Then after you’re done looking for the bones you add Crisco, whip it up together with your hand or the blender until it’s thick, add sugar and evaporated can milk, whip until the sugar dissolves. Some people use the fish broth or sometimes seal oil, I don’t know. After your done putting in all the ingredients, until it taste perfect to you, add the berries of your choice.
There’s a whole bunch of berries you can use in your akutaq, thats why people go picking berries in the fall around July or August whenever the berries get ripe. So they can have akutaq in the winter; keeping them frozen in their freezer. They go picking for salmonberries, blueberries, blackberries, and red berries from the tundra. Their bigger and juicier when the berries grow by a lake or near water.
My favorite akutaq is Coastal, it’s with no fish just Crisco and the other ingredients. The kind I like is with huge juicy blackberries and salmonberries, “yummy”. I don’t know why but I just love it. Once in a great while my mom will make it, but it finishes like in one day because of my brother Sonny. He always over do his plate by filling a big hill of akutaq, that just makes me mad.  That’s why we make hardly make akutaq.
A person always makes akutaq when there’s ceremonies, feasts, potlucks, memorials, and what ever goes on in Kalskag. Someone always makes a big container or bowl of their tradition akutaq. I always want to take lots because it looks so good, but there’s always lots of people or it tastes diverse.
For a detailed recipe visit Akutaq recipe.
Author: Stephanie K. Hoffman