Jerky Perfected

By: Dear North Team April 21, 2016

When you think of jerky, you think of a tough-to-chew meat snack found in any adventurer's backpack. Now get ready for something completely new: delicate, tender Alaska salmon bites, hand crafted and infused with special Alaska flavors like spicy fireweed honey.

 No fish farms are allowed up here. It's in our Alaska State constitution Article VIII sec. 15. Our salmon is Ocean Bright and handled with care by local fisherman and our Alaska team. Ocean Bright means they are a bright silver color when caught and a rich source of omega-3s. The story behind our Salmon Bites starts with the fishermen. And so, step into the story and find yourself on a fishing boat in Alaska.

 

 

Step out from the warmth of the boat cabin and into the cool early morning mist. It is always a bit chillier on the water. Inhaling, taste salt and sea, pure and unspoiled. Look across the bay, and see shrouded mountain peaks not reveling in their grandeur just yet. A slight swell rocks the boat. The tide is right. Birds splash and dive in the distance—this is nature's fish finder. Usually, where there is bait, there is salmon. Even with the rocking waves it is very still—the air, the hanging mist and sound. It feels "fishy" as we say. The baited lines at varying depths flash unseen at the surface. A sound of something being pulled breaks the silence. The filament shifts to an unfamiliar angle away from its normal path.

 

 

Just below the surface of the water, a salmon is a beautiful flash of silver, purple, blue. Pulling it on board, you can feel the wildness. Its "shoulders" are thick from years of swimming and chasing its omega-rich food. Salmon is revered in Alaska and is a metaphor for what is still wild and untamed.

Once at the dock, the Coho Salmon is off-loaded. The processing begins. Careful handling and icing on the boat help preserve its delicate texture, the bright red flesh lays vibrant on the stark white cutting board. We cut the wild-caught salmon filets, firm from a lifetime at sea.

 

 

We create something special with this filet – tender, moist salmon bites. The Coho is further cut into thin strips with a sharp blade. It is then brined in a mixture of Alaska ingredients like spruce tips and water from our mountains. The reddish strips float just below the briny surface. After a period of time, they are removed from the brine, racked and rolled into a smoker. Gently smoked over alder wood, the fish is infused with provocative flavors.

Seeing these bites after they have been lightly smoked is exciting. The color has changed to a translucent light red hue. It is tempting to eat one right off the rack but we abstain. These Salmon Bites are intended as sustenance for days to come, as fuel during a hike through the woods or to pull out of a pack after a paddle to a secluded stony beach.

These treats are an alternative to jerky. Using premium fish yields premium flavor. There is nothing ground up or extruded about these bites—just honest slices of wild caught fish, gently flavored and ready to eat, and that deliver a powerful protein burst with heart healthy benefits.

The Salmon Bites are also dressed up enough for happy hour. Sit down and pour a glass of white wine. Scatter them onto a small cheese plate with clusters of dried fruit and nuts. Kick up your feet and relax over this superfood snack.

 

From Alaska With Love