Does seafood have terroir?
A lot of wines boast the concept of terroir, which is the special set of circumstances of geography, geology, climate, soil type, topography, that interact with the products we eat or drink, like wine, coffee, tea, tomatoes, chocolate or wheat.
Loosely translated, terroir can be thought of as “sense of place.” In the wine world, terroir is the idea that the land from which the grapes are grown imparts a unique quality that is specific to that growing site and therefore the wine.
In the case of Alaska seafood, we are working with a truly unique terroir, one that endows our fish with characteristics that are impossible to replicate.
The Alaska Gold™ brand is more than just a brand. We’re cultivating a system of place or origin. Place of origin is central to what food is and the pleasure food gives us when we care about the ingredients that we prepare. Place is key for what we fishermen do—the glaciers, the animals, the clean water. It can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world.
Just looking at these map images makes the roving wanderer in all of us fishermen salivate, but it should also make anyone who appreciates fine seafood salivate. You can truly see how wild the area we fish is; you can rest assured that your fish isn’t tainted by run-off from industry or pollution from large congregations of people.
Ballard Hadman, in a book that gives a great history of trolling in Southeast Alaska, As the Sailor Loves the Sea, writes: “On we troll off Baker Island. Next to Addington, Baker is my favorite. Towering contours, indented bays, lovely headlands: high, wild, uninhabited. At the base of gray stone cliffs at the head of one bay there is a mineral hot spring. It has a wooden tub sunken in it, a circumstance that intrigues me. A wooden tub sunken in a hot spring in surpassingly wild Baker Island, in a bay fronting the whole western ocean. Who put it there? I should like to have a bath in it.”