This is a chronicle of both human development over thousands of years and American history after the European invasion. Through cultural evolution, the First Peoples worked out what was edible or could be made edible and what foods could be combined with others, developed unique processing and preparation methods, and learned how to preserve and store foods. An intimate relationship existed between Native Americans and their food sources. Dependence on nature for subsistence gave rise to a rich spiritual tradition with rituals and feasts marking planting and harvesting seasons. The foodways were characterized by abundance and variety. Wild plants, fish, meat, and cultivated crops were simply prepared and eaten fresh or smoked, dried, or preserved for lean winters. The European invasion forced a radical transformation of the indigenous food habits. Foodways were one of the first layers of culture attacked. Indians were removed from their homelands, forced to cultivate European crops such as wheat and grapes, new animals were introduced, and the bison, a major staple in the Great Plains and West, was wiped out. Today, American Indians are trying to reclaim many of their food traditions. Other traditions have become part of the broader American cookbook, as many dishes eaten today were derived from Native American cooking, including cornbread, clam chowder, succotash, grits, and western barbeque.
The scope covers six major regions, from prehistory until today. Chapters include foodways history, foodstuffs, food preparation, preservation, and storage, food customs, food and religion, and diet and nutrition. Examples from many individual tribes are used, and quotations from American Indians and white observers provide perspective. Recipes are provided as well, making this a truly indispensable source for student research and general readers.
It sheds light not only on this group and their history but on American food culture and history as well.
This cookbook presents 150 recipes from across the United States, incorporating many indigenous ingredients and traditional dishes from the Cherokee, Chippewa, Navajo, Sioux, Mohegan, Iroquois, Comanche, Hopi, and many other North American tribes. Each chapter is introduced by an expert on the region and discusses the cultures of major tribal groups, their diets, their ceremonial use of food, and the historic dishes they developed. This book celebrates the many cooking traditions that have stood the test of time and are still very much alive today.
This book is not just a recipe collection, but a passport to foraging and to surviving close to nature. It will tell you how to prepare familiar foods such as stuffed clams and corn chowder, but also how to fix clover soup, purslane salad, young milkweed spears, wild rice with hazelnuts and blueberries, fiddlehead stew, meadow mushroom pie, stewed wild rabbit with dumplings, spoon bread, acorn coffee, and witch hazel tea.