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Research on the Culinary Tourismization of Alaska



The research project, "Culinary Tourismization of Alaskan Red King Crab," aims to examine the changes in Alaskan cuisine after Alaska was inducted as a state. The project specifically focuses on the red king crab and its preparation methods before and after statehood. I analyzed historic cookbooks and presented my findings at multiple undergraduate research forums, including the Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Expo. The project is important because it offers insights into how Alaska blended into America after becoming a state, with food serving as a window into societal changes. To complete this research, I used various sources, including historic cookbooks, to examine how the preparation of crab originated in Alaska and how it became Americanized in terms of mainland alterations. The project also investigated the government's role in developing Alaska's red king crab fishing industry. My research provides insights into how food was essential in forming a relationship with the final frontier.

Click here to visit the research's companion site >>

Tools Used: 
My Role: 
  • Researcher, Presenter

Key Points of the Project:

  • Alaskan cuisine had been tourismized to meet American consumerism after Alaska's induction as a state.

  • Red king crab was a prominent industry in Alaska before the induction of Alaska to America, and the way of preparation and dish combination made its way from Alaska to America.

  • Food, in this particular case, the Alaskan Red King Crab, can be salient in revealing certain societal trends and changes.

  • Historic cookbooks were examined to track the crab's role as a catalyst in Americanizing Alaska commercially, culturally, and culinarily.

  • Commercial fishing in Alaska started to take off in the late 1800s, with salmon and herring catches topping the list, and commercial crab harvests started cropping up in the first quarter of the 1900s.

  • Fishing for crab off the Alaskan coast used to be done in a certain fashion called derby style. Nowadays, much of that has changed due to overfishing and environmental changes.

  • The U.S. government played a significant role in the development of Alaska's red king crab fishing industry.

  • After Alaska's induction as a state, the fishermen and natives of Alaska wanted to offer some of their culture that could be integrated into American society, and the way of preparation and dish combination of red king crab made its way from Alaska to America at this time.

Presentations & Leadership:

  • Presented this research solo at the Undergraduate University Research and Arts Forum

  • Built a team and worked together to present at the Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Expo

  • My research later toured the campus of Michigan State as part of a research education series, and I also used it to teach a workshop to undergraduate students about presenting at forums.


my UURAF presentation

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