The Pantry - Fall 2017
No skiff? No problem. The team at Barnacle Foods has your kelp cravings covered. Based in Juneau, this startup is riding the seaweed wave and making some delicious salsas (and pickles) out of Alaskan kelp. We enjoyed a jar of their campfire salsa; nicely balanced with just a bit of heat. Roasted garlic and beets bring a little smokiness to this fine-textured blend, sweetened by a touch of honey. Great on chips (we did our taste test with lightly salted Taco Loco tortilla chips for true Alaska flavor) but we also mixed a few tablespoons in with some plain yogurt and made a great wild salmon sauce. Barnacle kelp salsa is available in 3 flavors (original, campfire, and sea verde). Visit their website to order your own and add a few jars of their kelp pickles (choose from curry or dill). If you’re in Juneau, stop by The Port and grab some in person!
We’re swigging this year’s Kahiltna Gold First Run Birch Syrup directly from the bottle. This is a special batch of syrup, made during the first week of the harvest. In the birch syrup hierarchy, first run syrup falls just below the Reserve batch (which is made exclusively from the first day). If you have a chance to stop by Kahiltna Birchworks you can sample syrup from different days of the harvest and really taste the difference. The 2017 first run has a light caramel taste, and its sweetness is moderated by a light, bright finish. Delicious poured over a big stack of sourdough pancakes, or as a topping for a bowl of vanilla ice cream. If you’re looking for birch syrup to add to dishes, try their mid or late harvest syrup - they have a deeper, fuller flavor than the earlier saps.
Not everyone is cut out to be a baker. If you’ve read the feature on Alyeska’s Executive Pastry Chef Scott Fausz (starts on page 14) then you know it’s hard work. But, if you’re looking to relax in a space that smells like a bakery, then pick up a vanilla bean travel candle from Selkie Designs. Handmade by Genny Rietz at her home in Haines, these delicious candles are almost good enough to eat and turn any space into a sweet-smelling escape (even when not lit). They’re all natural, made by hand from soy, and have a 40-hour burn time. The only problem is that the vanilla bean left us craving fresh baked sugar cookies for weeks. If you’re not into vanilla, try the pumpkin soufflé or the grapefruit ginger. Order from Genny’s Etsy shop or pick one up at a local retailer including Alaska Rods, Magpie Gallery, and Lynnview Mercantile in Haines, 907 Clothing Co in Skagway, Taku Shop and Bear’s Lair in Juneau, Miele Gallery in Petersburg, Dos Manos, Sevigny Studio, and 7E Gallery in Anchorage, Groundswell in Wrangell, and Strictly Local in Craig.