Native American Food

Native American Food Facts and Recipes to Sink Your Teeth Into

Native American food and recipes have found their way in the main stream United States cuisines. Now they are relished and recognized by people across the world.
You will be surprised to know that all the America's famous and popular food items, such as, apple pie, hotdogs, pizzas, ice cream, steak, hamburgers, etc., originated in other countries. These food items were induced in the American culture by the colonies and immigrants. In this scenario, the native American food suffered from negligence and always remained in the closet. Vegetable, nuts, fish, beans, corn, squash, and American bison were the basic part of any native American recipes before the European invasion. The native people used to grow these crops in their farms and used to hunt for animal meat. Now things have changed and all they have to do is go to a nearby grocery store and buy everything they want.

Food and Customs of Native America

Food is an important part of any culture. Likewise, the American customs are closely associated with their food practices. The native tribal people used to express their gratitude to their deity for gracing their tribe with delicious food. After cutting the ripened corn stalks, the natives used to have a ceremony to express their apology to mother nature for cutting the stalks. When they used to get the first harvest, they would offer it to their deities and burn a piece of food as an offering to the soil. After killing an animal, some tribal clans used to inhale their scent. They believed that by doing this, the spirit of the dead animal would live forever. A lot of native Americans used to celebrate various festivals when the corn or other corps were harvested. During the corn harvest days, many people used to come together and enjoy variety of foods and drinks along with singing and dancing. Hospitality, respecting food and one course meal are some of the basic food traditions. Roasted corns, various types of nuts and berries are also included. Salt was widely used in all the food preservation methods to preserve the perishable foodstuffs. Given below are two of the most common and popular food and drink recipes.

Succotash
It is the traditional stew made from corns and bean. This stew is very nutritious and a part of native American's daily diet.

Ingredients
  • Washed butternut squash, 1
  • Corn, 2 cups
  • Frozen Lima beans, 10 oz.
  • Salt
  • Butter, 2 tbsp.
Directions
  • Deseed the squash, peel, and cut it into small pieces.
  • Now take a vessel and add water to it. Put the squash pieces in the water and see to it that they are completely soaked in water.
  • When the mixture is boiled, reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is tender.
  • Now, add the corn and Lima beans to the mixture and wait till they become tender.
  • Keep stirring the mixture at regular intervals.
  • Once all the vegetables are tender, drain the vegetables.
  • Toss them with butter, salt and pepper.
Iroquois Strawberry Drink
As berries are abundantly found in America, the natives used it wisely. They used to make some mouth-watering drinks from strawberry, such as this one.

Ingredients
  • Ripe strawberries, 2 cups
  • Water, 2 cups
  • Brown or maple sugar, 4 tbsp.
Directions
  • Wash the strawberries in the running water.
  • Remove the stems and leaves from them.
  • Cut the berries into small pieces and grind them with the help of mixer grinder or blender.
  • Now add the maple sugar and water to the crushed strawberries.
  • Shake the mixture really well so that all the ingredients gel well together.
  • Keep it in the refrigerator for an hour. Once it is chilled, garnish it with mint leaves and small strawberry pieces.
Someone said that, "people who like to cook like to talk about food ... without one cook giving another cook a tip or two, human life might have died out a long time ago." So, the next time you talk about America, you know what to talk about. Try some of this food at home and share the recipes with your friends as well.
Strawberry cocktail
Succotash in a white bowl