Alaska's growing season is still in the future.
But the state is still producing plenty of fresh dining options—from eggs to seafood. Here's a look at what's available from local growers, producers and fishers.
From the sea
Dannon Southall of 10th & M Seafoods says Alaska's waters are producing beautifully right now.
"Fresh Prince William Sound shrimp is the buzz right now in the seafood world," Southall says. "Prince William Sound opened a little over a week ago to target fresh spot and side stripe shrimp.
"This week we will have fresh spot shrimp tails in house. These large sweet shrimp tails are an amazing treat coming out of winter. Side stripes are a few weeks out."
Southall says halibut are coming in regularly and 10th & M will have fresh headed and cleaned 10- to 20-pound halibut available for $9.50 per pound. He says halibut fillets, steaks and cheeks are also available. Other seafood choices include live Alaska oysters from Simpson Bay just outside of Cordova, along with fresh rockfish, sole and cod.
Alex Davis of AD Farm will have a huge selection of eggs at the market this week. It's quite a variety of eggs.
"We have five types of eggs from our farm," he says. So. if you're interested in chicken, duck, goose, turkey or guinea hen eggs, Davis has you covered.
"When the guinea and turkeys start laying well we will start hatching, but until that day we will offer them as delightful treats," Davis says.
Davis still has some storage crops from last autumn available, including orange and purple carrots, along with German butterball and fiesta potatoes. He has his large selection of pork cuts (chops, loin roast, fresh side, ground pork, sausage and other cuts), along with raspberry jam, pumpkin butter and apple butter. Davis is at all three markets this week.
Monica's Confection Connection will be at all three markets with a variety of sweet treats. The gourmet brittle options include peanut, cashew, pecan, almond, jalapeno peanut, cayenne cashew and "bear mace" (habanero jalapeno cashew). Other treats include caramels, salted caramels, gummies and fudge.
Rempel Family Farm will be at Saturday's market with organic seed potatoes, along with some storage crops—nine varieties of potatoes, carrots, four varieties of beets, green cabbage and purple onions. The Rempels also have yak meat.
Davis says these items or vendors will also be at the market on various days: Alaska Sprouts with micro greens, sprouts, tofu and basil; Alaska Flour Co.'s barley products; Evie's Brinery items, including krauts; Wild Child fermented salsa; Far North Fungi's mushrooms; Mosquito Mama balsamic vinegar; Windy River Farm grass-fed beef; Tonia's Biscotti; Jonsers' hand-crafted nectars; and Doggy Decadence treats.
Duane Clark will be at the market with his products, along with select items from Farm 779 and Rosie's Pasta from Sterling. Clark will have Alaska seafood, grass-fed beef, salsa, jams, zucchini relish, glacier water, honey and birch syrup. He'll have a limited supply of Farm 779's coconut kefir, kraut and kvass.
Daisy Nicolas and Drool Central will be at Alaska K9 Aquatics, 549 W. International Airport Road, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Wednesday and Saturday.
"I have Earth Chips made from mainly Alaska Grown root vegetables, potatoes, red beets, carrots and Outside sweet potatoes," Nicolas says. "They can be eaten as snacks or rehydrated and added to meals."
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at email@example.com.
Local farmers markets
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; Fourth Avenue Indoor Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 333 W. Fourth Ave.
Saturday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Fourth Avenue Indoor Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 333 W. Fourth Ave
Sunday in Anchorage: Fourth Avenue Indoor Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 333 W. Fourth Ave.