USA Tour offers taste of Juneau By Eric Moya / February 04, 2016 Share 1 Juneau Food Tours stops include a cod taco tasting at local favorite Salt. -- The goal of Juneau Food Tours, according to owner Kelly "Midgi" Moore, is to "feed your mind as well as your belly." Moore, writer of the Meals With Midgi column for the Capital City Weekly, launched her walking tours last year, combining her passion for southeastern Alaska's food scene and her tourism industry background (she once oversaw Juneau's visitor centers for its convention and visitors bureau).Her flagship tour, limited to 14 participants, spans roughly a mile and takes in a wide array of downtown Juneau's culinary offerings, from locally brewed beer at the Alaskan Hotel & Bar to gingersnap cookies courtesy of flight-tour operator Wings Airways and the Taku Glacier Lodge.Then, of course, there's the seafood: Tastings include king crab bisque and crab cakes at Tracy's King Crab Shack, halibut nachos at V's Cellar Door and cod tacos at Salt.However, in keeping with Moore's mission of education, "We start at the Alaska Commercial Fishermen's Memorial," she said. "It brings it full circle for people to understand where that seafood comes from. We talk about the men and women who died bringing that seafood to us, and also the cost, the process of it as well as the different kinds of salmon and other fish that are caught in Alaskan waters. That's one of the locations that really resonates with guests."Meanwhile, a tasting of house-made charcuterie at Panhandle Provisions, whose co-owner Beau Schooler was nominated last year for the James Beard Foundation's Rising Star award, offers a sample of Juneau's culinary scene beyond seafood."The pork that they use in their sausages is an Alaska pork that comes from the Mat-Su Valley, which is up near Wasilla," Moore said. "So they keep everything local, they forage and they make their own vinegars. And the thing I love telling people is, 'What you're going to eat in this deli, you will not get anywhere else on the planet.' Their kimchi salami is one of their best sellers."And the tour is not just about eating locally sourced cuisine but about eating as the locals do, according to Moore."I chose the locations because they're the places that locals go," she said. "They're the places where I go with my friends and family, where if I have visiting friends and family I take them, where my husband and I go to eat."For time-strapped visitors such as cruise passengers, the 2.5-hour tour offers two advantages, Moore said: First, by focusing on locals' hangouts, the tour mostly avoids the tourist crowds, and several of the stops, "especially in the daytime, are really not busy because [locals are] still at work." Second, even in the case of stops such as Tracy's, perennially crowded with visitors and residents alike, "we don't have to wait in line; they know we're coming, and they're prepared for us."According to Moore, guests have said they appreciate the keep-it-local philosophy."For my tour, only locals can be my guides, and they have to live here year-round," she said. "And that's what people really like. They like that opportunity to ask questions about the daylight, the dark, the tides, the rain, the snow; what's it like living here? On a tour like this, you really have the opportunity to connect with people like that."The tour is priced at $129 per person; visit www.juneaufoodtours.com.