Land of Giants


Behold, a 68 pound cabbage.
Photograph by Bob Hallinen/Anchorage Daily News

This may be the last you’ll here from me. No, I’m not quitting—I’m just headed to Alaska. Maybe I’ve just read too many books and Outside Magazine articles about the back-country, about bear attacks, freak snow storms and innocent San Franciscans that get lost in the woods and eaten alive by black flies, but I feel convinced (OK, semi-convinced) that you can check into Alaska, but you may never check out.

I’ll admit, I was also a bit nervous about what awaited me, culinarily speaking, in the “Last Frontier.” Fresh seafood, certainly (it’s the end of halibut season and the start of the salmon run), but what of the summer vegetables that are the basis of every meal I eat this time of year? A quick Google search, and my fears were allayed. They’ve got vegetables up there: Giant vegetables.

George Bush Sr.'s worst nightmare: Mega-Broccoli.
Photograph from

The rich soil, loaded with glacial silt and loam, coupled with 3 months of virtually 24-hour sunlight, makes Alaska the prime location for 68 lb. cabbages and 9-foot tall swiss chard. I’m not joking—check out this site for more pictures and information. Eschewing the micro-greens trend, Alaska, like Texas, just likes things bigger.
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