New exhibit highlights Alaska's food diversity and community
A new exhibit at the Anchorage Museum is now open, offering visitors some food for thought.
What Why How We Eat, on the museum's first floor, highlights cultures and food traditions across the state.
Chief curator Francesca Du Brock hopes museum visitor will be engaged in the state’s food diversity and community.
“I think Alaskans will probably walk away with maybe a little bit of their funny bone having been tickled, in seeing these kitschy or nostalgic things in the exhibition, but I think also hopefully with a renewed appreciation for the uniqueness of our place and our unique relationship with wild foods,” Du Brock said.
The exhibit showcases some interesting facts about foods Alaskans love. For example, the company behind Sailor Boy Pilot Bread distributes 98 percent of its oversized crackers in Alaska. They're a shelf-stable must for many homes in both rural and urban kitchens, and even have their own display in the new exhibit.
The displays are all about what makes Alaska unique, according to Du Brock.
There's one area that focuses on wild harvesting, and another full of unique cookbooks with recipes for things like jelly moose nose and seal liver loaf.
The exhibition also showcases the price of groceries in different Alaska communities. A gallon of milk in Anchorage costs about $4 while the same gallon would cost closer to $10 on the North Slope.
Du Brock says one part of the exhibit that really got her thinking is focused on Alaska infrastructure and food security. She says if a natural disaster disabled the municipality's Port of Alaska and shipping ceased, Anchorage grocery stores shelves would be bare in about a week.
What Why How We Eat will be on display at the Anchorage Museum for the next year. During that time the exhibit will also host events such as urban harvest classes, group meals, cooking demonstrations, and community workshops.
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