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Tundra to Table

Looking across the tundra at the edge of Nome, it’s easy to assume this landscape isn’t home to much. Flat, low vegetation and no trees for hundreds of miles belie the abundance and variety of life that calls this remote, extreme environment home.

Muskox, moose, caribou, blueberries, salmonberries, cloudberries, ptarmigan — it’s all here in Western Alaska. Beyond the land, Alaska’s rivers, sounds, bays, and seas are home to an incredible variety of fish, marine mammals, and other critters and organisms. And much of these flora and fauna are critical to supporting the subsistence lifestyle of both Alaska Natives and non-natives.

As residents of Nome, we volunteers have access to two grocery stores and a handful of restaurants, which is far more than most Western Alaskans can say. But as we discuss in this week’s audioblog, the most extraordinary flavors and experiences come not from off the shelves but from right off the tundra, whether picked or fished personally or generously shared by members of the community.

Karen talks our victory winning a salmon filet and options for preparing it, Zoe reveals how we get fresh greens, and I recount my experiences at an Eskimo feast. Take a listen in the media player above to get the full scoop.


  1. Harvey Stewart Trop on August 22, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Well worth the wait… glad I listened after I had just eaten.

  2. Doc Ayres on August 23, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    If music be the love of food, play on….great blog.

    • Gabe Colombo on August 23, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks, Doc! Glad you’re able to listen.

  3. Nancy Downing on August 28, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Tundra diet is very paleo! Salmonberries do not sound appetizing. Would enjoy a description of how they taste. I imagine the salmon filets, however, were delicious. Was a very interesting story. Thanks!

  4. bethdavidow on December 18, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Enjoying listening to all of your stories while I sit here, in sunny northern New Zealand!

    • David Dodman on December 20, 2017 at 8:16 am

      Thanks so much! Hello from Alaska!