Alaska’s only commercial seafood pickling plant is about to celebrate a year in business.
In Kodiak, where seafood drives the local economy and most processors are selling fresh or frozen fish, Pickled Willys decided to try something different.
Bill Alwert and his niece Barbara Hughes worked with the University of Alaska for more than a year to come up with a plan to package and sell their prized family pickled seafood recipe.
“I took some down to the Philadelphia area and everybody said ‘why don’t you sell that stuff?’” said Hughes.
They opened Pickled Willys in June, 2011 in a storefront along the Kodiak harbor and now sell their jarred salmon, cod, halibut, and king crab in specialty stores throughout Alaska and the Lower 48.
“Its traditional spices,” said Hughes, though she won’t reveal the secret recipe.
The fish has a bright, briny, surprisingly fresh taste, with a firm texture. It blends well in spreads and dips and is best served simply -- on a saltine cracker.
The latest Alaska seafood innovation seems to be catching on. Pickled Willys says its adding new sales accounts almost every month.
Email Ted Land