Alodiks are mentioned several times in And She Was by Cindy Dyson, as being a type of Russian fry bread. Brandy is first introduced to them by Carl who makes them for the party at his bus home. They are also served at the tsunami party, and mentioned in one of the flashback scenes with Liz and Miss Busy Mouth Holton.
When I went searching for information, however, I found a Russian fry bread called pishky, and langos, a Hungarian version (or versions, since this site gives instructions for deep frying and for baking). There were numerous versions called Navaho or Indian fry bread (the picture at the top of the page!), as well, but nothing called alodiks and nothing that referred to Alaska.
Finally, after searching for Alaskan and Aleutian fry bread, I found this recipe for the fry bread that I think might be correct. I never did find the word “alodiks” in connection with any kind of fry bread, and the post with the recipe refers to it as Alaskan fry bread, not Russian. However, it makes sense to me that it’s something the Russians would have introduced, not a traditional food of the region.
It is different from the pishky and the Navaho fry breads, in that it is a yeast bread not a “quick” bread made with baking soda. The langos uses yeast, but also potatoes, and the baked langos is a lot like a foccacia.
In And She Was, Brandy notes that the bread was really good, but also that she could taste that Carl’s oil was a bit rancid–yuck!
I went back and searched Aleutian Sparrow for alodiks or fried bread, and found a nice little passage about the food at the camp compared to the food they were used to.
Pari says, “Chum salmon, tea, and bread, over and over, each day like the day before.
No seagull eggs, no cod, no halibut, no crab,
No salmonberry jam, no blueberry pie, no mussels, no clams, no fried bread, no seal.”
“Don’t,” I beg her. “Oh, Pari, don’t.”
In the Author’s Note, Karen Hesse notes the word “alaadik–fried bread eaten with sugar or jam.” This made me realize that Hesse spelled it differently than Dyson, but a further googling with the alternate spelling did not yield anything new.
I did, however, notice another food tidbit in Aleutian Sparrow. “We bake Easter bread, kuliich, and ice it with sweet white glaze.” I found that kulich is a traditional Russian Orthodox Easter bread and AllRecipes had a recipe for kulich.
I love how the more I read, the more I keep going back and rereading and picking up on things I hadn’t really noticed before–the more inter-connected the books seem to be. Aleutian Sparrow is written in such vague (though beautiful) language, that I really didn’t pick up on a lot of things that are starting to appear and be explained more fully in some of the other books–like the fried bread. I’ll keep sharing what I find.