Alaskan Kaihanu D.P.
This 100+ year-old sourdough starter originated in Alaska and was named Alaskan Kaihanu D.P. in Blenheim, New Zealand in 2014 as part of its first international adventure. Kaihanu is a Maori word that means “to wander from place to place” and the D.P. stands for Don Partridge who bestowed the starter to the Sikorski family in California in 1974. The sourdough was handed down from Don Partridge’s grandmother who received it from her brother who created the sourdough while working on the major Alaska Gold Rush discoveries of the 1890s. Unfortunately, the exact date of creation for the starter is unknown, but it was maintained throughout its journeys with Don Partridge from Alaska all the way down to the Baja California Peninsula where he camped and canoed carrying the starter in the ceramic sourdough pot from his grandmother; a pot she used to cook beans until it cracked and couldn't be heated anymore.
The sourdough pot and starter returned to Alaska with the Sikorski family in 1974 driving up the ALCAN Highway in the back of a pick-up truck guarded by their Newfoundland dog named Bear. Upon arrival to the Kenai Peninsula, the Sikorskis decided to make Alaska home and hand build a log cabin together. From there, the sourdough continued upon its Alaskan legacy primarily through the cooking tradition of sourdough blueberry pancakes based on the early prospectors' (or sourdoughs') recipes of the gold rush era.
Cooked outdoors in "the Bush" (wilderness only accessible by float plane) or at beach camping trips along the rocky coast of Bishop Creek, the Sikorskis adopted this taste of the state's pioneer history and created their own wild rugged adventures. Film crews were fed, Saturday morning community mixers were brought together, and special birthday breakfasts all became part of the Sikorski family tradition of sourdough; a tradition that eventually inspired the next generation to take it abroad to share the Alaskan spirit with others around the world and create Taste My Culture.