Inspirational Native Americans – Cooking and Food

Native American available food and cooking habits varied as greatly as their homes and clothing.  This was also based on availability.
The Inuit ate primarily the tundra animals in the locations they lived.  Very little vegetation grew in the areas, and farming was not possible.
More temperately located tribes had more variety to eat.  Some tribes were reported to live on desert creatures, which may, or may not have been possible.  Others lived on fish, near the oceans or big lakes.  Many tribes hunted various animals. Some farmed.  Particularly corn, beans, and squash.  However, traditional farming was not at all like modern farming.  Large areas were not cleared.  They would plant the plants together, so that they could protect themselves and help each other grow.  Large patches of dirt were not common.
Each tribe had their own way of cooking, as well as rituals surrounding the cooking process.  Many tribes used pottery that was decorated to signify family and tribal ties.  Cooking and eating had a different meaning than it does today.  It was more natural.  Slower, and enjoyed when a person was hungry, rather than dependent on a bell and a reminder.

I enjoy cooking.  And while I’ve never had any Native American prepared dishes, there are some I would like to try.  One is a rabbit, bean, and cornmeal dish.  I actually describe it in Crosswinds, and talk about a few of the variations.

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