Friday, August 15, 2008

Evolution of an Akpiq

The cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), is a slow-growing alpine or sub-Arctic species of Rubus (related to Raspberries, blackberries), producing reddish peach colored edible berry. In Alaska they are often mistakenly called "salmonberries. It is easy to tell the difference bcause salmonberries grow on a bush and cloudberries don't. In the northwest Arctic region of Alaska we call them Akpiqs (ahk-pik).

It all starts out with a little white flower.

After pollination, the white flowers begin to form a berry that is somewhat similar to a raspberry.

The akpiq spends the summer slowly developing inside the protection of it's tightly closed petals.

As the berry gets bigger the petals begin to split open and show the berry inside. The still unripe berry is reddish orange in color.

As the akpiq ripens the petals open all the way and fold back and the berry starts to turn amper in color. The berry has a texture similar to raspberries and a taste similar to apricots.


Ryanne said...

Those sound really intriguing to me. I will have to find a chance to taste one. I suppose that means I 'd have to go to Alaska to, eh? Maybe someday.

Becky said...

IKEA stores sell Cloudberry Jam in their food departments, and it's DELICIOUS!

I'd never seen one before now, though. Love the pictures. Do y'all pick them and do anything special with them? Make tarts or something, lol?

Ishmael said...

Hey, hey, hey! What's this "Mistakenly" business??!


Those are the real salmonberries where I'm from (and also where you live), so when in Rome, you know.

They have the "other" kind down here in Kodiak, and they're not nearly as good as the "real" thing.

And to Becky, the best special thing to do with them is to make agutuk (ah-GOO-tuk) (Eskimo ice cream). I'm partial to the post-contact style with Crisco and sugar, but don't mind the more traditional styles with whitefish and seal oil....

Justin said...

I've been enjoying some raspberry and Akpiq jam for the past couple of weeks, spreading it thinly on everything! BP&RA sandwich, toast + jam, club crackers + cream cheese + Jam. It is really good. What about "fireweed".

Arvay said...

Awesome shots. What patience!