The Wandering Kitchen: Seattle
In the Skagit Valley Food Co-op’s Wandering Kitchen Travel Blog Series, we’re taking you on a virtual trip to some of the best places on Earth for world-class cuisine. Whether it comes from your backyard or a different continent, good food has the power to transport you anywhere you want to go. So while you might not travel to the heart of India, the Caribbean, or the boot of Italy by plane, train, or automobile, you can take your taste buds on a trip simply by turning your dining table into a delicious destination for some of the world’s best food.
We’ll be featuring locations near and far known for their food, inspirational recipes to try in your own kitchen, as well as products you can find in the Co-op to give you a taste of the cuisine.
In this edition of The Wandering Kitchen, we’re taking a quick drive to a place you’ve likely visited… Seattle! Whether you’re new to the area or have lived in Washington your whole life, Seattle is a foodie heaven, with a wide diversity of foods to choose from.
If you call Skagit Valley home, with Seattle just down the I-5 corridor, it’s easy to forget just how incredible of a culinary destination it is! Between fresher-than-fresh seafood and the rich diversity of food options, Seattle rivals some of the best international food scenes, and is worth the trip!
Eat like a local! Here are some of our favorite Seattle, Pacific Northwest-inspired recipes. If we missed something from the must-eat list, definitely give us a shout! We’d be more than happy to add it.
Seattle Hot Dog
Often sold outside of concerts, sporting events, and farmers’ markets, the Seattle dog is a local specialty that’s spicy, sweet, salty, cool, and absolutely delicious.
If you’re a Washington native you might already be familiar with this recipe, but if you aren’t it’s pretty simple!
For a Seattle dog, you’ll need a toasted bun, thinly sliced caramelized onions, cream cheese, jalapeño, and mustard. And though it’s optional, a squirt of sriracha adds a spicy element to balance out the cool cream cheese.
Oysters are basically the definition of a Pacific Northwest delicacy. For some, they’re an acquired taste, but for others, they grew up eating the things.
Eating and utilizing oysters is a tradition that dates back over 4,000 years, though the process of actually mining, fishing, and canning oysters only started in the 1840s with European settlers.
Traditionally, oysters are served raw, in the half shell, often with lots of lemons, hot sauce, and a shallot vinaigrette. Nowadays, oysters are still most often enjoyed in that fashion, but they’re also offered deep-fried, served with cheese, grilled, or oven-roasted like they are in the recipe below.
Smoked salmon, and fresh salmon for that matter, have a rich history here in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, according to the UW, there are old records of a ‘salmon priest’ for the salmon fishery along the upper stretches of the Skagit River.
Smoked salmon has been a food staple in indigenous cultures for a very long time and it can be a sustainable, effective way to preserve salmon for the off-season.
If you want to try smoking your own salmon at home, check out the recipe below. You’ll need a smoker, but the ingredients themselves are very simple.
Honeyed Apple Pie
Whether it’s summer or the dead of winter, this honeyed apple pie is a great way to savor Washington’s most well-known fruit: apples!
This recipe from Edible Seattle calls for whatever apples you have on hand as well as your favorite Washington honey. They recommend choosing a honey that isn’t too strong, as it will greatly impact the overall flavor of the pie.
Serve your honeyed apple pie with our famous vanilla ice cream.
If you’ve ever taken a stroll in the University District of Seattle, you’ve likely seen as many pho spots as you’ve seen Starbucks shops. And for good reason! On a cold, rainy PNW day, nothing compares to a bowl of hot, flavorful, sinus-opening pho.
According to The Washington Restaurant Association, there are 45 restaurants in Seattle with the name “Pho” in them. That number doesn’t even include the surrounding areas like Everett, Bellevue, and Tacoma. And if you’re wondering how Seattle ended up with so many pho spots, some of it can be attributed to former governor Dan Evans.
The story goes that in 1974, following the Vietnam war, a large number of Vietnamese immigrants we being held in San Diego’s Camp Pendelton. When Evans heard that the governor of California didn’t want the immigrants settling in California, he personally invited them to live in Washington state. Over 6,000 Vietnamese made their way to Washington and sooner or later Pho shops were opening all throughout the city.
While we highly recommend that you take the opportunity to visit a pho shop in Seattle, because nothing really compares to an authentic bowl of pho, if you want to try making it at home, this recipe is a great place to start.
Smoked Salmon Chowder
There’s clam chowder and fish chowder, corn chowder and seafood chowder. And in Seattle, there’s Ivar’s World Famous smoked salmon chowder.
Ivar’s, a Seattle staple, has been serving up this Northwest special since the ’40s, and you can still enjoy it on the Seattle Waterfront.
But if you want to skip traffic in the Emerald City, you can certainly make smoked salmon chowder at home! You’ll need some root veggies, herbs, smoked salmon, and cream-style corn.
Cherry season is no joke in Washington. Coming from the east side of the state, Rainier and red cherries are only here for a bit, but they’re well worth the wait.
This cherry trifle recipe is the perfect way to savor the season. Cherry preserves and fresh cherries are layered with shortbread cookie crumbles, mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, and cubed sponge cake before being topped with even more whipped cream.
Serve your trifle chilled as a cool and satisfying summer dessert.
Seattle Craft Beer Flight
While this isn’t a recipe per se, we couldn’t not include some sort of nod to the plethora of craft beer we have available to us here in the Pacific Northwest.
Our Beer Department carries an impressive selection of local brews including hard ciders and gluten-free beers! A tasty tip: you can buy a single beer from a pack to try it out, before committing to a 6-pack.
Grab a few singles to enjoy a PNW beer tasting tour at home!
Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
And, while we’re on the topic of non-recipes, we couldn’t just breeze over the fact that of all the culinary delicacies, Seattle is obviously most well-known for coffee.
Whether it’s the ‘bucks or any number of exceptional small, family-owned coffee shops, we certainly know coffee here in Upper Left USA.
But of course, there is debate about what tools make the best cup of coffee at home.
Seattle Food Staples Available at the Co-op
Well, this is a list that could quite literally go on for pages and pages. So, regardless of what kind of product you’re looking for, whether its chips, produce, candy, wellness items, or gifts, the Co-op is the best place for all things Pacific Northwest.