Traditional Tlingit Tastes
Porthole Cruise Magazine|March/April 2021
In Hoonah, Alaska, food is about much more than just what's on the plate.
CELE & LYNN SELDON
The Last Frontier, otherwise known as Alaska, has always maintained a certain mystique to those in the Lower 48. One of the least populated and visited states in the country, many travelers have misconceptions of Alaska, its economy, its landscape, the food, and, naturally, its people. And nowhere is that more evident than in Hoonah, Alaska, a largely Huna Tlingit community on the northeast side of Chichagof Island, just 35 miles from Juneau, but a world away.

Home to approximately 750 people, predominantly Tlingit, Hoonah residents share a tight-knit community, speaking English along with their native Lingít language. Much of the economy on Hoonah centers around fishing and tourism, with the town normally welcoming 450,000 cruise passengers annually at Icy Strait Point, an Alaska Native-owned and -operated tourist destination.

Located at the former Hoonah Packing Company cannery, which opened in 1912, Icy Strait Point is now owned by the Huna Totem Corporation, a 100 percent Alaska Native–owned body created in 1971 to protect the native land, history, and culture of the Tlingit people. The natural beauty of the area is on display in whale-watching tours; bear searches; ATV and Jeep expeditions; and rides on ZipRider, one of the world’s largest zip lines, spanning 5,330 feet over the majestic Alaskan landscape. But the destination also offers a glimpse into the Huna Tlingit culture with a museum, native theatrical productions, costumed interpreters, shops carrying Alaska Native merchandise, restaurants, and native culinary tours.

Hoonah’s Unique Cuisine

The Tlingit maintain a hunter-gatherer subsistence culture — hunting, fishing, and harvesting wild foods — and fiercely look after one another to make sure everyone has what they need to make it through the harsh winters. As Amelia Wilson, Executive Director of the Huna Heritage Foundation, explains: “Food is integral to our culture and is at the heart of our way of life. It contributes to our culture in a spiritual, mental, social and economic way.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PORTHOLE CRUISE MAGAZINEView All

GALAPAGOS OF THE EAST

Koalas are just the beginning on Australia’s fauna-rich Kangaroo Island.

5 mins read
Porthole Cruise and Travel
July/August 2021

PLUG IN AND POWER UP!

More and more, ports and cruise lines are working together to keep the lights on and keep the pollution down

4 mins read
Porthole Cruise and Travel
July/August 2021

Making Up For Lost Time

After everything we’ve been through, who’s saying no to a postpandemic world cruise or grand voyage offering months at sea?

5 mins read
Porthole Cruise and Travel
July/August 2021

MEXICO'S COASTAL ESCAPES

With Mexico rolling out the red carpet and opening flight borders to Americans, now is the time to redeem the pent-up wanderlust of the last year.

4 mins read
Porthole Cruise and Travel
July/August 2021

Countess In!

Porthole Cruise and Travel enjoys slice after slice of Americana while sailing the new American Countess.

5 mins read
Porthole Cruise and Travel
July/August 2021

The Joy of St. Croix

Of all the Caribbean vibes, St. Croix’s is unique.

4 mins read
Porthole Cruise and Travel
July/August 2021

Unique Hotel Boutiques

Gone are the days of sad hotel gift shops that sold little but after thoughts. Today’s hotel shopping is varied and eclectic, offering status items and one-of-a-kind finds alike.

3 mins read
Porthole Cruise and Travel
July/August 2021

Sipping on the Sand

The unique beach bars near South Florida’s cruise ports are a perfect reflection of the shorelines they represent.

1 min read
Porthole Cruise Magazine
March/April 2021

St. Thomas, Sophisticated

A former cruise director revisits the tiny, charming paradise he adored...only to find even more to love.

4 mins read
Porthole Cruise Magazine
March/April 2021

Traditional Tlingit Tastes

In Hoonah, Alaska, food is about much more than just what's on the plate.

5 mins read
Porthole Cruise Magazine
March/April 2021
RELATED STORIES

From Ski to Shining Sea

In the mountains around Alaska's Prince William Sound, there are no roads or trails. This is skiing's final frontier, and the only way to get there is by boat

7 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek US
October 17 - 24, 2022 (Double Issue)

Planning for the Planet

Making eco-friendly choices is rarely free or easy. We asked six business leaders about their companies' biggest obstacles to environmental sustainability, and how they're working to overcome them.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur US
October - November 2022

Cleaning Up From World War II

An environmental mystery on Alaska's Great Sitkin Island

3 mins read
Muse Science Magazine for Kids
July/August 2022

Alaska's Wild West

Adventure and history await discovery across the last frontier state.

9 mins read
True West
June 2022

BEAR!

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO? WHAT SHOULDN'T YOU DO?

8 mins read
American Outdoor Guide
April 2022

The Great Outdoors

Anchorage opens the door to all that is wild in Alaska.

3 mins read
Global Traveler
March 2022

Serious Downtime

Endless powder runs are just one part of the Alaska heli-ski experience.

3 mins read
Men's Journal
February - March 2022

TV BUSH PEOPLE FEUDING OVER FAMILY FORTUNE!

Billy’s children all determined to fill dead dad’s shoes

1 min read
Globe
February 14, 2022

What If?

You're Forced to Endure a Bizzard with No Utilities?

10+ mins read
OFFGRID
Issue 47

The Flight The Flight Attendant: The Travels of Molly Choma

“I started at Virgin Airlines. I was on airport standby a lot and wasn’t getting called to work much, so I asked my supervisor if I could walk around the airport and take pictures.”

7 mins read
JUXTAPOZ
Winter 2022