The Alaskan abalone, or pinto abalone, is abundant along the outside coastal waters of southeastern Alaska from Dixon Entrance to the Icy Straits. Although many people haven't heard of them, for many years, they have been considered to be the most valuable seafood among all. Due to the delicious meat and its high nurtriance, and based on the history records, the recipes, and my own experiences, abalone is one of the most powerful healing of foods. .
Abalones are marine snails belonging to the genus Haliotis family; they are related to clams, oysters, mussels, and squids. Many natives along the outside coast have long used abalone as a supplemental food, as a trade item, and the shell as decoration on their carvings and ceremonial dress. It appears that pinto abalone require the influence of the deep ocean swell as they are not found far from the outside coast. They can be found in thick kelp beds and sandy bottoms; therefore, they can be handpicked during extreme low tides. However, most are found in the lowest water from about minus 30 to 40 feet. From 1964 to 1976, the commercial harvest of Alaska abalone was highly variable. The peak seasons for the fishery were between 1978-1981, during which more than 260,000 pounds were harvested. The oval shell contains four to six holes and has an exterior of mottled colors, and sea growth that is similar to the surrounding habitat. The shell interior is muscle, and the edible portion with its creamy white center, mottled orange on the sides, and deeper orange on the bottom of the foot the creature is most colorful. The main food of abalone is marine algae, which can be from minute forms to giant bull kelp; therefore, abalone grows very slowly, taking around five to ten years to mature. .
Abalones are reasonably priced compared to shark's fin and swallows?nest as the three high-class ingredients, especially considering the difficulty of catching them.