Thursday, August 14, 2014
Qaqamiiĝux̂: Traditional Foods and Recipes from the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, A Review
I got my copy of Qaqamiiĝux̂ in the mail the other day. I was expecting a smaller book for some reason. As it turned out, the book is hard bound and a full 8-1/2 x 11 inches in size and has 382 pages.
The content is just what the title advertises, a description of traditional foods and how to prepare them. Nutrition information on various foods is also provided along with safety tips.
Contents are grouped by food type, marine mammals, fish, birds, caribou/reindeer, plants, tidal foods and other.
If you are not an Alaskan Native or a guest of Alaskan Natives, marine mammals will not be accessible to you, but all the other foods are available to the general public.
If you were raised outside of Alaska, much of this food will look alien to you, but if you live in Alaska most of it will look familiar.
The book contains a good deal of historical information on how animals were hunted and caught, something that might be of interest to kayak builders given that one of the primary uses of kayaks was as a vessel to hunt and fish out of.
The book contains lots of photos both color and black and white of how the food is gathered and prepared and gives you a good sense of contemporary food culture in the Aleutians.
My only complaint about the book is that it is missing the customary picture of the author.