Historic (rec.food.historic) Discussing and discovering how food was made and prepared way back when--From ancient times down until (& possibly including or even going slightly beyond) the times when industrial revolution began to change our lives.

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Default native American meal as educational experience

Hi all,

Our family is interested in trying a meal or two from the Native
American diet, as an educational experience.

There are a couple of problems with the practical side of things:
1. First, we can use *familiar* native American foods, like corn,
beans, pumpkin, tomato, blueberries, honey, salmon, strawberries,
etc. But I'm told that the native American people didn't fix them the
same way that I know to fix them. (What? They didn't turn tomatoes
into Campbell's Soup and then cook them on an electric stove?!!) So
if we use these foods, we need a more authentic way of preparing
them.
2. On the other hand, if we want to use native American foods that
are *unfamiliar* to us, we don't know where to get them! Where does
an urban Wisconsonite go to gather scuppernongs, quiona, sapodilla,
pawpaw, sisania, and sassafras? Where can I hunt an elk, or milk an
alpaca? Where will I find the eggs of anything other than chickens?

Thank you very much!

Ted Shoemaker

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Default native American meal as educational experience

On Fri, 29 Jun 2007 16:40:00 -0700, "
> wrote:

>Hi all,
>
>Our family is interested in trying a meal or two from the Native
>American diet, as an educational experience.
>
>There are a couple of problems with the practical side of things:
>1. First, we can use *familiar* native American foods, like corn,
>beans, pumpkin, tomato, blueberries, honey, salmon, strawberries,
>etc. But I'm told that the native American people didn't fix them the
>same way that I know to fix them. (What? They didn't turn tomatoes
>into Campbell's Soup and then cook them on an electric stove?!!) So
>if we use these foods, we need a more authentic way of preparing
>them.
>2. On the other hand, if we want to use native American foods that
>are *unfamiliar* to us, we don't know where to get them! Where does
>an urban Wisconsonite go to gather scuppernongs, quiona, sapodilla,
>pawpaw, sisania, and sassafras? Where can I hunt an elk, or milk an
>alpaca? Where will I find the eggs of anything other than chickens?
>
>Thank you very much!
>
>Ted Shoemaker



I think you will find that the diets of Native Americans varied
greatly from region to region.

Why not do some research on the tribes that lived in your part of the
country and focus in on foods they ate and that should be more readily
available in your area.

Boron
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Default native American meal as educational experience

I'm not sure how inclusive you are meaning to be when you refer to
"Native Americans" since that term would apply to all the peoples of the
Western Hemisphere.

Quiona? Did you mean quinoa? That was Peruvian. I don't have any idea
how it was cooked. Tomatoes were only used by the Aztec and maybe the
Mayans. Sapodilla is a tropical fruit. Not likely that any one group
of people would have dined at all of those items. What is "sisania?"

The rest of the foods are found in the United States ... eaten by the
natives of colonial America.

Scuppernongs are a white sport (a mutation that occurred naturally) of
the muscadine grape. Muscadines and Scuppernongs are Southern grapes so
they are warm climate plants.

A pawpaw is a wild fruit that folks in Louisiana and eastern edge of
Texas make jelly out of. It may have a larger native range. I don't
know. I have never seen the fruit in supermarkets.

The word "pone" is an Algonguin Indian word, and you should be able to
find recipes for Ash Cakes/Corn Pone on the internet. They were likely
to be very basic -- ground corn mixed with water baked on a rock on in
ashes.

Succotash, a Narragansett Indian word, is a dish combining corn and
beans. This was exceeding popular when I was a child. It was prepared
with fresh green lima beans, corn scraped from the cob, butter, and
cream. It is very doubtful that the Narragansett were using beans that
originated in Peru (the source of origin of large beans, including
Limas. It is more likely they were using some variety of small beans,
whose origin was out of Mexico. Also, they would not have had dairy.
Maybe some Plymouth Rock website might give you some help with
Narragansett cookery and some Jamestown websites would be helpful for
Algonguin Cookery.

We know there was squash here when the first Europeans arrived but what
exactly were those squash? There was definitely cushaw because it is an
Algonquin Indian word. As far as I know it is pretty much a warm
climate plant. I see it at Farmer's Markets but I've never seen it in a
grocery store. You could give it a try yourself. See:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...e=UTF8&seller=

Sassafras Root is being sold on ebay - $8.50 a bundle.

Interesting project. Let us know what you come up with.

Cookie



wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Our family is interested in trying a meal or two from the Native
> American diet, as an educational experience.
>
> There are a couple of problems with the practical side of things:
> 1. First, we can use *familiar* native American foods, like corn,
> beans, pumpkin, tomato, blueberries, honey, salmon, strawberries,
> etc. But I'm told that the native American people didn't fix them the
> same way that I know to fix them. (What? They didn't turn tomatoes
> into Campbell's Soup and then cook them on an electric stove?!!) So
> if we use these foods, we need a more authentic way of preparing
> them.
> 2. On the other hand, if we want to use native American foods that
> are *unfamiliar* to us, we don't know where to get them! Where does
> an urban Wisconsonite go to gather scuppernongs, quiona, sapodilla,
> pawpaw, sisania, and sassafras? Where can I hunt an elk, or milk an
> alpaca? Where will I find the eggs of anything other than chickens?
>
> Thank you very much!
>
> Ted Shoemaker
>

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Default native American meal as educational experience


Thanks for that very informative and interesting answer, cookie.
Although this stuff is right outside my area, I find it fascinating.
Over here in Europe, I find it immensely difficult to ascertain what
people really ate even within living memory.

Spaghetti carabonara?

Cornish pasties?

The project of trying to figure out what native americans ate before
europeans arrived is very difficult, but no less worth pursuing.

Tony
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Default native American meal as educational experience


"Lazarus Cooke" > wrote in message
news:030720072231250006%[email protected] y.invalid...
>
> Thanks for that very informative and interesting answer, cookie.
> Although this stuff is right outside my area, I find it fascinating.
> Over here in Europe, I find it immensely difficult to ascertain what
> people really ate even within living memory.
>
> Spaghetti carabonara?
>
> Cornish pasties?
>
> The project of trying to figure out what native americans ate before
> europeans arrived is very difficult, but no less worth pursuing.
>

The vast differences in the diets of pre-Columbian Native Americans at
various times and places is an amazing study. Here, in Central Texas, at
least in the historically recorded 18th/19th century, sedentary tribes
raised corn, beans and squash/melon/gourds. Thousands of years before, the
almost as sedentary and amazingly artistic dwellers in and on the rim above
Seminole Canyon, just off the Rio Grande between Del Rio and Langtry (of
Judge Roy Bean fame), between creating still beautiful and haunting
"paintings" on the cliff wall, lived (hard and hardly) on what they could
catch and gather seasonally, seed grains from native grasses, small animals,
even insects and edible carrion (with not enough trees for nuts or acorns).
On a meager diet like that, their "droppings" must have been sparse, but
under the canyon's rim were preserved for scholars, for me at least a
particularly unappealing side of archeology. The Karankawa of the Texas
Coast, non-agriculturists on barren barrier islands, lived on shellfish in
season (leaving substantial mounds of oyster shell "in memoriam") and
stranded travelers in the months without an "R" when shellfish are less
dinable. Among the Kroncs, protein's protein.... (which may have accounted
for the speed with which all later occupiers from Spanish to Anglo settlers
"disappeared" the Karankawa rapidly from history's all too brief records.

At least in the Continental US, upon Columbus's first foray to the Bahamas,
the native American population was small, likely fewer than claim to be
"Native Americans today, limited by agricultural, hunting and survival
skills (and by what the current historians overlook from political
correctness, an unfortunate tendency to scuffle, bloodily, with the
neighbors, although in most cases with less self-finality than that which
accompanied conflict with the new and land hungry arrivals). Of course
there were far denser populations in Mexico and parts of Central America and
in the Inca lands, stone age civilizations with sophisticated agriculture
(or simply with access to a bountiful Mother Nature).

TMO


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