Purveyors of fine Alaska seafood are offering an increased variety of gifts of all sizes this holiday season and orders for some are coming in by the caseload.
Moderately priced gift baskets, which may include an assortment of gourmet smoked salmon, cookbooks, cheese and crackers, are doing well, but the biggest demand appears to be for the seafood itself – salmon, halibut, cod, scallops, and red and golden king crab.
Jim Trujillo of Ed’s Kasilof Seafoods on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, says the demand caught him by surprise in what he thought would be a down year for the company, but instead phone lines are lit up. And actually, said Trujillo, customers are placing orders a little larger than they did last year for sockeye and king salmon, both in fillets and headed and gutted. With halibut prices going up, Trujillo said, more people are switching from halibut to cod, and also ordering clams and scallops.
A bonus for Trujillo’s customers is he includes recipes provided through the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, which offers an online database of all kinds of seafood recipes at www.alaskaseafood.org
For those who love Alaska seafood but have questions on how to prepare it to serve, Copper River Seafoods has introduced online an array of bagged and boxed gourmet dishes, with simple instructions on how to bake, grill, pan sear or microwave the flash frozen packaged portions of skinless, boneless salmon, halibut and cod. Copper River Seafoods has added red king and golden king crab to its product line this year. The company also offers gift packages of smoked sockeye salmon, jars and cans of sockeye, silver and king salmon. Company spokeswoman Robin Richardson said some customers from Alaska and all over the continental United States are ordering by the caseload.
10th and M Seafoods, a perennial favorite for Alaskan shoppers, also is seeing a big demand for everything from red and brown king crab to scallops, salmon and halibut, plus its own gourmet jarred varieties of smoked king, red and silver salmon.
The orders are all over the board, but mostly boxes of seafood, and the demand for shipping next week will be crazy, said 10th and M’s Rob Winfree.
Another Anchorage provider, FishEx Quality Seafoods, also reports high demand, particularly for king crab, with hundreds of orders going out daily.