Enter The Wildfish Cannery Vintage Cellar: 2021 Releases
The 2021 Collection
We hope you're familiar with and have enjoyed the Wildfish Cannery line of smokehouse flavors. Six varieties of salmon (what else would you expect from a craft Alaskan smokehouse?!) alongside curious and surprisingly underutilized species of Alaska seafood, including geoduck, octopus, and herring. These nine bestsellers comprise our core lineup, produced in small batches, year-round.
But when you have a Chef at the helm of craft cannery operations, the exploration never stops. Our new Vintage Cellar is our platform for diving into the more culinary side of canning each year. It’s a way for us to express our creativity, explore new flavors of Alaska's terroir, and harness the strong relationships we have with Chefs and other small craft Alaska makers. It’s your opportunity to taste the flavors from our test kitchen and experience unconstrained invention.
New limited releases are almost always exclusively communicated through our newsletter (subscribe here!) and sell out within hours. And remember, just like fine wine, the products in Wildfish Cannery's Vintage Cellar are designed to age. You’ll reap the rewards of stashing a few of these beauties away and digging into them when you rediscover them!
Take a look at our 2021 Vintage Cellar series below, comprised of three small-batch releases (with one more on the way!)
Smoked White King Belly
Of course, the elusive White King salmon made our Vintage list in 2021 in a different format than our beloved Smoked White King. Why does Mother Nature bestow our local waters with a more abundant harvest of white kings than in any other area of Alaska? Perhaps because when they land at our Cannery they receive the royal treatment they deserve? The belly of a white king is the most Omega-3 rich part of the most Omega-3 rich species of salmon from Alaska. It’s the best kind of rich.
There's no way to know a king salmon is white until you open it up and you can read more about the elusive White King here. So why the belly? A belly cut from a wild king salmon is the most flavorful, Omega-rich portion of (since we're on the topic of "most") the most Omega-rich salmon! More commonly seen on a Michelin-star menu than on display at your local grocery store, Alaska king salmon belly already deserves the spotlight. White king salmon belly, though? Perhaps we've outdone ourselves. This is a one-stop salmon show.
We like to think of ourselves as seafood butchers, and when you crack open a tin of Smoked White King Salmon Belly, you'll see that we've reserved the most prized cuts - six ounces of the richest salmon - just for you. Nothing else is required save a fork in hand. But, of course, you could always throw in some good crackers, a spicy pickle, and a worthy friend (if you feel like sharing…
Building on the success of our beloved Smoked Octopus featuring the wild-caught Bering Sea Alaska octopus, we launched our Octopus in Bullwhip Kelp Hot Sauce in the Spring of 2021. For generations, European conservas makers have known that octopus’s stark white toothsome flesh offers the perfect palette for spiced flavors, but where was the spiced Alaska octopus? Nowhere! So, of course, we had to be first!
Barnacle Foods was the natural choice for our spice purveyor. Not only is Barnacle Foods a beloved Alaska maker of small-craft kelp pickles and award-winning hot sauces, Barnacle owners Lia and Matt are also great friends and allies in our mission to create delicious sustainable products that create jobs and opportunities in our small coastal communities.
Through the research and development process, we also worked collaboratively to refine and reduce the flavors of their Bullwhip Kelp Hot Sauce to be ideally suited for the flavors of our Alaska octopus. Finally, we settled on the perfect hot sauce mix for each 6-ounce can, and this product was born.
Smoked Coho in Birch Syrup
When the idea came to us to find a sweet pairing for our beloved Smoked Coho, we knew not just any old flavor would be able to tango with the sea-and-smoke profile inside this iconic can. So, initially, we set our sights on drawing sweetness from our local backyard. But, alas, the towering trees of the Tongass National Rainforest don’t produce any commercially viable syrups, so we headed north and landed in the Alaskan boreal forest of Homer, Alaska, where the native Birch trees bear some of the most delicious syrup on Earth.
Our birch syrup purveyor, Bridge Creek Birch Syrup, is a small family-owned business that produces 100% pure birch syrup the Alaskan way, off the grid, using wood-fired evaporators to concentrate each batch of their delicious, mineral-rich syrup. Like our seasonal varieties of salmon, harvest-timing impacts the flavor of birch sap, too. Therefore, we selected late-run birch syrup for this release. Late-run birch beholds truly diverse tastes that are complex, tangy, and bold. Alongside the delicate coho flavor, you may detect notes of juniper, wood, ripe banana, and dried fruits.
But what about the salmon? We'd be remiss to skip the story of that, which will always be the star of every show. When it came time to select our source, we knew where to turn. Local brothers Tom, Jim, and Chris - our core fleet of local fishermen - provided the goods. Each late-run coho salmon featured in this product was hand-harvested from our local waters and delivered directly to our small cannery.
Dark and complex, birch syrup’s rich, umami-forward flavor blends perfectly with our bright and briny Smoked Coho. We love this delicately sweetened Smoked Coho in Birch Syrup straight from the tin with only a few simple accompaniments and, of course, a good sturdy bottle of wine