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Thursday, August 11, 2011

If You Were Planning to Make a NA Feast, What Would You Serve?

Whether you are intentional or not, most snacks and full meals will include some food that is indigenous to North and South America.  That food was domesticated, located, and sampled by Native Americans who created unique dishes and used local spices, too.  If you are planning a "Feast," here are some ideas.

The word "Barbecue" is Arawak - that is, the idea that you rub seasoning on meat and smoke it over a fire pit (not the slathering of spicy sauce it has come to be known as).

Cassava is a traditional bread, and cassava is also known as arrowroot and tapioca.  Pineapples are a traditional welcoming gift - and that tradition survives.

My suggestion would be to go a little more general in the Native American category:
*  Corn, beans, squash, coffee, chocolate, potatoes, and tomatoes are all Native American in origin.
*  Nuts and berries (plus most grapes) - 60% of what the world knows as edible - is Native American in origin.

Specific dishes might include:
* A bean chili with corn chips
* A succotash (corn and bean stew) with wild rice
* Guacamole (Central American) with corn chips or another flat cassava or corn bread
* GORP - good old raisin and peanuts - a trail mix
* Venison, turtle, or other North American wild game animal
* Buffalo (it is domesticated and available as a ground meat in a cryovac package in most grocery stores now)
* Shell fish from the local area (mussels, clams, lobster, etc)
* Cod fish, of course, (Cape Cod is named for their past abundance)