Many Alaskans are thinking holidays and gift-giving. For those looking to give a tasty gift -- either near or far -- there are lots of options.
Alaska seafood, reindeer, bread, teas and other items make perfect gifts.
Here is a brief rundown of some options:
• 10th & M Seafoods (10thandmseafoods.com)
Some of the best Alaska has to offer is our crab. 10th & M Seafood has a couple of options, which include overnight FedEx shipping.
They are offering a 5-pound box of jumbo red king crab for $189 and a 10-pound box for $335.
10th & M's Alaska Seafood Combo pack includes 2 pounds of large golden king crab, 2 pounds of vacuum packed halibut fillets, 2 pounds of vacuum packed sockeye salmon fillets and 1 pound of vacuum packed smoked salmon for $195, including shipping.
"For the people looking to do a little last-minute holiday shopping we have plenty of wonderful seafood gift packs to choose from," says Dannon Southall. "We can build any package anyone wants. Last day to ship is Thursday the 20th."
• Alaska Sausage and Seafood (alaskasausage.com)
The Midtown store has plenty of options including packages with reindeer, smoked salmon, smoked halibut and other treats. The Great Alaskan features smoked sockeye salmon, lemon pepper salmon, Cajun salmon, smoked salmon strips, sliced salmon lox, a variety of sausage and other products with reindeer, cheese, crackers, Alaska alder-smoked mustard, Alaska herb tea and other goodies for $184.99.
To ensure holiday delivery, place orders by 10 a.m. Thursday.
• Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop (fireislandbread.com)
Whether for a host's table or as a gift, fresh bread and bakery products will be wonderful.
Fire Island is offering many holiday favorites, including stollen, a traditional German Christmas bread. Other seasonal treats include babka, an Eastern European holiday brioche with a chocolate cinnamon filling, and a variety of cookies, including lemon-thyme shortbread cookies, chocolate ganache stars, gingerbread families, pistachio-cherry biscotti, Russian tea cakes, macaroons and an ancho chile chocolate crinkle.
"The subtle chili flavor doesn't even sink in until your second bite, when the complexity of the chocolate is really brought out by the chili," said general manager Rachel Saul. "The spice makes you appreciate the richness of the dark chocolate."
To make gifting easier, Fire Island has cookie platters in three sizes and offers an assortment of cookies in a gift-wrapped package with a bow and a card. They also have combinations that include bread or bread and sweets.
For those who don't plan to ship but still want to give some of Alaska's bounty, consider a gift card from Arctic Organics. River and Sarah Bean say the gift cards can be made out in any value and can be used for winter vegetable orders, shopping at the Anchorage Farmers Market for the farm stand during summer or even to join the farm's Community Supported Agriculture vegetable subscription.
Visit arctic organics.com for more information.
At the Market
The regular vendors should keep things busy at the Center Market at The Mall at Sears on Wednesday. The market is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Vendors scheduled to be on hand include Country Health Foods, A.D. Farm, Rempel Family Farm, Northern Lights Mushrooms, Alaska Sprouts and the Shrimp Guys.
"I will be bringing in several 40-pound boxes of mixed cuts of pork this week; come get them while I have them," says Alex Davis of A.D. Farm. "Come to the market to get your fixings for your Christmas feast. We will be open the 26th if your guests require more food before going home."
In addition to his pork lineup, Davis will have plenty of storage crops, including carrots in four colors, potatoes, cabbage, parsnips and Brussels sprouts. He also will have fresh duck and chicken eggs.
This week Rempel Family farm will have carrots, beets, Snow Apple turnips, stripetti squash, sugar pumpkins, daikon radish, parsnips, green cabbage and 11 kinds of potatoes.
Seafood for you
For those more interested in their own table than gift-giving, Southall says 10th & M has a lot of fresh seafood.
"Another exciting week of seafood leading up to the Christmas holiday," he says. "We will have a wonderful selection of fresh fish to choose from this week to enjoy. Fresh Alaskan troll king salmon will be available mid-week with both red and whites in house, best off to call ahead for the whites. Another treat this week is fresh never frozen jumbo red king crab from Dutch Harbor. These wonderful jumbo red leg beauties will be in house mid-week and going for $28.95 per pound."
Fresh fish fillets in house this week are cod, dover sole, and rockfish going for $6.95/pound/ $8.95/pound and $9.95/pound respectively.
At area grocery chain retailers, be on the lookout for Copper River Seafood products. The Anchorage company has recently begun to supply Walmart stores with Alaskan salmon, cod, halibut and marinated seafood. You'll find those items in the frozen seafood sections. Their fresh frozen red king crab legs are now at local Carrs/Safeway and Three Bears, where the frozen items are also stocked.
"It's not always labeled as local Alaskan seafood," said Copper River's Robin Richardson, "but it is."
Specialty smoked salmon is at Sportsman's Warehouse and Alaska Wild Berry Products, Richardson said, and local restaurants -- Orso, Glacier Brewhouse and Humpy's -- are serving their fish and shellfish "with a special focus on Alaska golden king crab."
Copper River also sends out smoked salmon, king crab and more with free shipping for online orders. Check them out at copperriverseafoods.com. Alaskans are invited to enter the "Go Local" promotion code of 907 to receive a 10 percent discount.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. If you have a suggestion for a future Market Fresh column, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.