A Tasteful Trip
For out 31st wedding anniversary, Jack and I decided to take the train from Anchorage to Fairbanks through the Denali National Park. We stayed at the Hotel Captain Cook the night before our train left Anchorage and noticed Key Lime Pie on the menu, but no Baked Alaska.
To commemorate the United States purchase of Alaska, a new dessert was created called Alaska-Florida. Later the name was changed to Baked Alaska. The dish has a warm golden-brown egg white topping and a frozen ice cream center.
Our waitress told us all the desserts are homemade. I did not ask “How can they be homemade if they are made in a restaurant?” but I did ask, “Where did you get the Key Limes?” Her reply, “We get asked that a lot from Florida people, but they all taste the pie and like it.”
As usual, Jack enjoy the faux Key Lime Pie, but I am holding out for a Baked Alaska. Still haven’t found one on a menu, but we return to Fairbanks this evening and I have one more night to complete my search.
Waiting for our ride to the train depot, we sat in the lobby of the Grande Denali Lodge reading the only newspaper they had, The Denali National Park newspaper.
A headline caught my eye, “Wild, Wonderful, Waiting for You”. I told Jack they borrowed his home state’s slogan, “Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia.” We then heard a familiar song playing, “Take Me Home, County Roads”. Jack said he still prefers the hills of West Virginia to the majestic mountains of Alaska, hence the moniker hillbilly, not mountain-billy.
You will find Key Lime Baked Alaska in the Florida Keys. When a famous French chef at a New York restaurant was commissioned to create a new dessert to celebrate the United States’ purchase of Alaska, he called his creation Alaska-Florida, later to become Baked Alaska.
Not to be outdone, the Key Lime Baked Alaska is on the menu of the fifty-year-old Islamorada restaurant Marker 88. Key Lime Baked Alaska, with a toasted marshmallow meringue swirled atop a rock-hard frozen Key lime pie, has been on the menu for decades.