trying reindeer sausage in alaska

Local flavor: Trying reindeer sausage in Alaska

by Michael on December 9, 2014

Anchorage’s Town Square Park on West 5th Avenue is a festive place. Particularly during the summer when the waning orange glow of the sun at 11 pm sort of makes it feel like sunrise. Which got me in the mood for breakfast, or was it the dueling smoke wafting my way from the three reindeer sausage vendors that set up camp on the sidewalk?

trying reindeer sausage in alaska

When I first heard about this local delicacy visions of Rudolph danced in my head. Would Santa put me on his naughty list? As someone who was raised in New York all I knew about reindeer was from Christmas stories. Once I found out (spoiler alert) that Santa Claus wasn’t real (end spoiler alert) I just assumed that reindeer weren’t either. I didn’t find out they actually existed until I saw a National Geographic show about them years ago.

anchorage reindeer sausage

Anna working the Husky Dogs stand.

Trying reindeer sausage in Alaska had not been high on my list of things to do. But as I inspected each of the vendors grilling the sausage, heard the crisp snap of the fat sizzling on the griddle and smelled the unquenchable aroma I just had to try one. I sought out Husky Dogs where the perky and upbeat Anna was cooking up a few links under the big red umbrella. The owner of the stand, Martin Boss, was busy stocking up the supplies. Martin operates the stand during the summer when he is not in Georgia with his other gig: he works as a film editor on the hit TV show The Walking Dead.

Reindeer sausage onions (750x563)

He is proud of his reindeer sausage, emphasizing that it is fresh, never frozen. What really makes his reindeer sausage stand out is the grilled onions placed on top. They are caramelized in Coke every 10-15 minutes and really add a sweet touch. The final piece of the puzzle is their housemade “Boss” sauce, a blend of stone-ground mustard, pepper extract and vinegar. It really packs a zing.

husky dogs reindeer sausage alaska

Martin (left) normally deals with zombies which made it easier to work with Michael.

The result? Delicious. I’m not sure I would know that the sausage was made from reindeer as opposed to some other animal but at that point I didn’t care. I just knew that it was crispy, spicy and full of meaty flavor. At 11 PM on a summer night in Anchorage, reindeer sausage really hit the spot.

I hope Santa will understand.

Here’s our video taste test of reindeer sausage.

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Larry December 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm

What a unique treat … not the best post to show the kids, but I bet it is quite tasty! 🙂

Lillie December 14, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Whoaaaaa!!! Reindeer sausage??!?! I never was tempted by this before, but after reading/seeing this, I just might be!

Mary @ Green Global Travel December 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm

I think it is always beneficial to embrace local food cultures (if you’re not a vegetarian). We tried Moose sausage in Sweden. I felt a little bad about it especially since we had just hugged a moose, but to be honest it was pretty tasty. Thanks for sharing your reindeer sausage experience.

Wandering Educators December 14, 2014 at 4:21 pm

I’d SOOO eat this – sounds amazing!

noel December 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm

That looks delicious and look at all those onions, must be really packed with flavor and yummy goodness. I would love to try this!

Penny Sadler December 19, 2014 at 11:24 am

I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I do like to try local foods. This combination looks great. Plus I could talk to Martin about television production. 🙂

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