Akutaq, also known as “agutak,” is an Alaska Native dessert made with different ingredients depending on the region. It consists of whipped fat mixed with berries, with optional additions such as fish and sugar. The word in the Yup’ik language means “something mixed.”
MODERN RECIPE BY MARGE NAKAK (YUP’IK AND INUPIAQ)
1 1/2 cups berry-flavored yogurt, such as Yoplait
1 or 2 bananas, mashed
2 cups cut, mashed strawberries
4 pounds frozen mixed berries
Honey or sugar (optional, to taste)
1. Fold bananas into yogurt.
2. Gradually add strawberries and frozen mixed berries, stirring well. The frozen berries will harden the mixture into “ice cream.” If using, add honey or sugar to taste.
TRADITIONAL RECIPE BY GERI HOOGENDORN OF KOYUK, ALASKA
1 pound dried reindeer fat, grated or shredded
1/4 cup seal oil
2 cups frozen salmonberries
3 cups frozen blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup boiled, flaked fish (optional)
1. In a large bowl, slowly add seal oil to the reindeer fat and whip by hand or with a hand mixer. If needed, add a bit of water. Keep mixing until mixture is white and fluffy.
2. Fold in berries, sugar and, if using, flaked fish.
Thank you to the Alaska Native Heritage Center for including both a traditional and modern recipe—we appreciate your partnership!