As the calendar turns to February, the Alaska Marine Conservation Council is thinking about the three Cs. In a seafood-centric place like Alaska, the three Cs are crab, coho and cod.
AMCC is kicking off its Catch of the Season program with a pop-up market at the council's Anchorage office, 106 F St. It is selling the three Cs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and Feb. 9-10. The sales are first come, first served.
"We decided to kick-off our year with a pop-up market so new and returning customers would have an opportunity to meet our Anchorage-based team," said Jen Leahy, AMCC communications and engagement manager. "Our customers support Catch of the Season primarily for two reasons: they're excited about the incredible quality of the seafood and they want to feel more connected to the people behind the product.
"This is also a great time of year for us to help Alaskans top off their freezers with local seafood. With Valentine's Day around the corner, we figured folks might be interested in special treats like Norton Sound red king crab legs or the Taku River coho fillets, which get their clean, pure flavor from a technique called pressure bleeding. We decided to round out this offering with our jig-caught Pacific cod, which is extremely versatile and a great value. For those of us who have concerns about factory-farmed meat, wild cod is a great alternative to chicken. It's my go-to protein for weeknight meals."
The Norton Sound red king crab is $250 for a 10-pound box; the Kodiak Jig Seafoods Pacific cod fillets come in 3- to 4-pound packages for $7 per pound; and the Taku River coho fillets come in 2- to 4-pound packages for $11 per pound. The coho packages include a single fillet.
"There are some logistical constraints to doing a seafood offering during the winter, which is why this initial offering is limited to Anchorage," Leahy said. "Rather than pre-ordering seafood in larger share sizes — that's the standard model for community supported fisheries — our pop-up market allows us to offer more options to our customers. So instead of purchasing 20 pounds of cod, they might opt to buy two packs of cod fillets and try a of coho fillet. Or maybe they just want one box of king crab legs.
"It's a nice way for Anchorage customers to try something new, feel more connected to their food, and learn more about AMCC and our work to keep Alaska's fisheries healthy."
More information is available at akmarine.org.
Farm 779 rejoins the market this week after a month away. Julie Meer said she is back with a full selection of fermented items, highlighted by Yensis onions grown by Glacier Valley Farm. "These onions are the result of ultimate composting" that comes from the Matanuska and Knik glaciers, Meer said. "Eons of bionutrients ground by the ice, moved by the water and absorbed into the plant."
Farm 779 also has turmeric root; regular, citrus and double-thick coconut kefirs; vegan kimchi; krauts; beet kvass; gluten free almond cookies and breads; and body products.
Duane Clark will have grass-fed beef and yak; Yensis onions, potatoes, carrots and beets; honey and honeycomb; salsa; jams; zucchini relish; smoked salmon products from Tilgner's Seafoods; and meat rubs from Alaska Wilderness.
Clark said other vendors this week include Three Bears Farm with a wide assortment of jams; Non Essentials with fresh eggs and other items; the Tea & Spice Exchange; and Drool Central with grainless treats for dogs that include wild Alaska cod, Alaska-grown carrots, fresh fruit, organic pea flour and organic coconut flour. Drool Central also will have a pop-up market at New Sagaya City Market from noon to 3 p.m. Friday.
The thrice-weekly market will have plenty of choices this week, from Alex Davis' pork chops to Monica's Confection Connection's salted caramels. And new this week is fresh, Anchorage-grown lettuce.
Davis will be at all three markets with his pork lineup that includes bratwurst, pork chops, loin roast, roast, fresh side sliced and slab, ground pork, Italian sausage, spicy sausage, breakfast sausage patties, ribs, bone for broth, fat for rendering, liver, feet and hocks. Davis also has vegetables, cuts of grass-fed beef, goat meat, locally produced honey, Alaska Sprouts items, barley products from Alaska Flour Co., chicken and goose eggs, jam and balsamic vinegar from Mosquito Mama.
Davis will be selling four varieties of lettuce grown by Alaska Natural Organics.
Monica's Confection Connection will be at all three markets with a variety of sweet treats including walnut brittle, caramels, marshmallows and fudge. Other vendors this week include Catherine's Cupcakes and the Rempel Family Farm on Saturday.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local farmers markets
Monday in the Valley: Colony Farmers Market, noon-6 p.m., 610 S. Valley Way, Palmer
Wednesday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street
Thursday in Anchorage: Thankful Thursdays market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street
Friday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street
Saturday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street