Skip to comments.The Forgotten Cuisine - (Native American)
Posted on 08/25/2013 7:37:32 AM PDT by re_tail20
Nephi Craig graduated from culinary school in 2000 and began a promising career. In a few years, he was working his way up the stations at Mary Elaines, Arizonas only five-star French restaurant, led by James Beard Awardwinning chef Bradford Thompson. I was getting a great French, classical training, but something was missing, says Craig, who is 33. The French tradition isnt my tradition, and I wanted to cook in the tradition of my people: Apaches and Navajos.
Its an early Tuesday morning in late July, and Craig is driving his 10-year-old son, Ari, and me around the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, which is nestled in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona. Craig, whose mother is Apache and whose late father was Navajo, likes punk rock and skateboarding and is quick to laugh. Though he was born in Whiteriver (the reservations largest community) and spent most of his youth therehe also lived for several years on a Navajo reservationhe never thought hed spend his adulthood here. He went to culinary school in Scottsdale and then spent three years cooking at an affluent country club in the northern part of the city before joining Mary Elaines.
At Mary Elaines, wed use a lot of local ingredientsrabbit, venison, squash, and cornthat I recognized as part of indigenous culinary history but were prepared in the French style, he says. And as I got better as a chef, I began to think about using my skills to showcase my own peoples culinary ways.
But he had a lot of learning to do. Even growing up on the reservation, I got the same two-page social-studies version of our indigenous history, he says. You know, the pilgrims and stuff. After leaving Mary Elaines, he began to devote himself to rediscovering indigenous food...
(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...
Let the jokes begin.....
A few years ago, my oldest son invited us over to see his new apartment and to go out to an Indian restaurant near by.
My husband asked what kind of Indian - American Indian or Indian Indian.
Since then, he has been on a quest to find a place that served real American INdian food. Even with the ethnic craze, you don’t find American Indian food.
Where does he think the Indians get the food stamps to buy their fry bread? As for the "killings", I presume he's referring to the Indian Wars in the "two page" history in the public schools' revised "history" books about the cavalry and the Indians "and stuff". He obviously isn't very in tune with what is STILL going on between the Indians and the U.S. Government on the reservations. The killing continues. But hey! As long as the Indians stay on the DNC's reservation plantation and continue to vote for DemocRATS, what's the problem?
A lot of native Americans were cannibals too.
A couple of years ago, one of the Top Chef Masters shows did an epi cooking for members of a tribe using its traditional dishes as the basis.
***Even with the ethnic craze, you dont find American Indian food.***
Think back to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
After the Spanish were driven out, POP’E, the leader of the revolt demanded all Spanish cattle, sheep and horses be killed. Only deer, elk, rabbit and other foods could be eaten. Anything from the Spanish was banned.
The Indians had become accustomed to Spanish food and were not happy. They were so unhappy they deposed Pop’e, but like a bad penny he came back.
So they poisoned him, and when the Spanish returned they were welcomed with little opposition.
In other interesting times, when the US began to explore the far west, they were starving. They came upon a group of Piutes fixing some food. The Piutes fled and the US soldiers ate the food.
Then they found the food was pounded earthworms. Revulsion overcame hunger and they puked their guts out.
Then there is Lewis and Clark’s meeting with the Flathead Indians. The Indians were so starved when one of the expedition killed an animal the whole tribe ran several miles to the spot and tore the animal to pieces, devouring it and the guts raw.
Then there is the Kronkawa Indians of Texas who had a preference for cooked human.
If you really look, most so-called Indian food like Indian Tacos are actually Spanish. Even the staple Fry Bread is Spanish.
I can’t wait till some enterprising cook decides to start a Australian Aborigine Cafe!
Interesting that the restaurant “Mary Elaine’s” retains that name after the involvement of Charles and Mary Elaine Keating came to an ignominous end in the savings and loan scandals of the late 80s.
Maybe one tribe left evidence of it as a possible common practice.
There's an account of a white trapper/hunter that took a Indian wife. She was killed by braves from another tribe. In a pique of revenge, the trapper started hunting members of the tribe, and at least on the first deadly encounter, ate the liver of one of the braves. Raw.
The tribe's elders were horrified, and eventually made peace with the aggrieved spouse by making him a member of the tribe.
Perhaps Senator Fauxcahontas can contribute her collection of NYT-poached collection of Native American Recipes?
If I ordered some Karankawa Indian cuisine would they roast me up a Spaniard?
1976 Mazola Margarine “We Call It Maize” Commercial
Elizabeth Warren has a mean Corn-Seed recipe.
Mexican food is fusion Spanish/Indian.
I was wondering when the stupidest comment EVER on Free Republic would be made. I just found it. It’s yours.
What idiotic notions. As if French and Italian cuisines are entirely separate in origin.
And others are not equally original.
Or "Asian" is a single cuisine.
Or "Native American" is.
Heck, there are at least a dozen very distinctive versions of Mexican cuisine alone. At least as different as French and Italian. Or Japanese and Chinese (which is itself very diverse).
In NM, the pueblos north of Santa Fe hold various feasts. Part of the celebration is dancing and other activities, then attendees are invited to homes of tribe members to eat traditional foods. Very good. You can also go to Jemez and the Indians sell food along the road.
Perhaps Senator Fauxcahontas can contribute her collection of NYT-poached collection of Native American Recipes?
Yeah, but it's mandatory you acquire all the ingredients with food stamps.
What is idiotic about it?
A host of Indian tribes are known to have been cannibals.
Among them Aztecs, Caribs (origin of the word cannibal), Iroquois, Anasazi (proven by DNA evidence), Tonkawas, Kwakiutl, Mississipians (the guys who built Monks’ Mound) and a bunch of others.
Same is true, BTW, of Old World peoples. Go back far enough and probably all our ancestors were cannibals.
Cannibalism among various “native American” groups is documentable. Sorry you don’t like it.
Considering many indian tribes were known to eat various parts of their captives....like fingers, internal organs, intestines, tongues.....while they still alive...
I think I will pass....
They did that so that he could squat over the tribal burial grounds & their warrior would finally get his liver back.
Sounds like there is a reason that pre-European foods are not eaten. They suck. Other than buffalo and venison, they had no decent meat, and they probably didn’t get that very often. Plains Indians couldn’t kill buffalo very easily until whites came with horses. Then, they were able to chase them and kill more of them, and they grew in size and population. The Indians in Mexico are tiny because they had no good source of meat, other than each other. The corn was crappy before whites came and used agricultural methods to make it bigger and better. In the southwest, they pounded acorns into a paste and made some real disgusting bread thing. There may have been a few good things to eat, but they were not plentiful or widespread.
That’s true. Cabeza de Vaca who was probably the first European to encounter (albeit unwillingly) the Indians of the Southwest in 1528, wrote of the cannibalism of some of tribes he met. Although it was to his account largely ceremonial. Bernal Diaz del Castillo, who marched with Cortez, explicitly documents the cannibalism of the Aztects, and recounts that at one point Cuauhtémoc threatened to eat the flesh of Cortez with Mole, which was apparently the proper sauce for the occasion.
In one way the two cuisines are closer that you might think. Indian Fry Bread is the same as a Mexican Sopapillia, and is often served with honey, if not with meat and very hot peppers in a form of taco. Both are pretty much the same as (Asian) Indian poori bread.
We were taught in grade school about the native tribes of the SF Bay Area and the things they ate (shellfish, acorns, etc.).
I can’t think of any place around here that features Native cuisine. We were taught about how they prepared acorns for eating (you have to leach out the tannic acid first, and they had to do it in woven baskets since they didn’t have ceramic ones).
With all the food-worshiping, belly-worshiping (”their god is their belly”) “locavore” so-called “progressives” around here, you’d think some eatery would feature acorn pancakes (in season, of course). No dice.
“He obviously isn’t very in tune with what is STILL going on between the Indians and the U.S. Government on the reservations. The killing continues.”
I agree. . .free tuition to colleges, clean, new well stocked elementary and high schools, clean, new hospitals, business grants, housing assistance, employment and contracting preferences like 8(a), they get all sorts of help from the government, but yet, as you say, the killing continues as they wallow in drink and drugs and law-breaking—killing themselves. (Because they are Indians, they are allowed to cross back-and-forth between Mexico and the US. . .without having to pass through POE’s, therefore, they are also deep into the drug trade, supporting murdering cartels.)
They certainly are democRATS.
no jokes....just good eats. If you haven’t eaten antelope you are missing out. There is plenty of traditional food from The Dine’ that is not only mouth wateringly good but good for you. And yes I do eat fry bread now and again because I like it (particularly with honey and a little cinnamon).
you apparently have never eaten antelope or had a good mutton stew. more’s the shame
Someone long ago noted that an Indian banquet consisted of “dog meat with lard sauce.” Someone else noted that, in New Mexico, it is smothered with burned green chilis.
“And the Noble Son of the Plains becomes a mighty hunter in the due and proper season. That season is the summer, and the prey that a number of the tribes hunt is crickets and grasshoppers! The warriors, old men, women, and children, spread themselves abroad in the plain and drive the hopping creatures before them into a ring of fire. I could describe the feast that then follows, without missing a detail, if I thought the reader would stand it.”
— The Noble Red Man, by Mark Twain (1870)
***ate the liver of one of the braves. Raw.***
You are talking about LIVER EATING JOHNSON(Jeremiah Johnson).
Years later, he admitted he did not eat the liver, but just passed it in front of his mouth. The Indians, who saw him from a distance, thought he had eaten it.
***1976 Mazola Margarine We Call It Maize Commercial***
I remember that! It all came about after the 1974 troubles at Wounded Knee. Suddenly Indian culture became a temporary rage. Much of it a total hoax.
Even with the ethnic craze, you dont find American Indian food..... There REALLY is a good explanation for that.
ate the liver of one of the braves. Raw....Liver Eatin’ Johnson. Jeriamia Johnson (Robert Redford) was a fictionalized account of his exploits. He supplied wood for the steamers that came up the Big Horn, was a guide, trapper and became a Marshall in the Dakotas at different times.
1976 Mazola Margarine We Call It Maize, Paleface Whitey!!”
That’s how it sounded to me. Dodge or Plymouth offered Navajo pattern upholstery that year IIRC.
A very fascinating book about eating on the Santa Fe Trail is, Eating Up the Santa Fe Trail. It is filled with first hand accounts of real-life meals, along with recipes.
I used to use it with the kids as part of western history lessons, because, believe me, you got their attention when describing meals of “polecat”, also known as skunk, “puppy dog”, and my personal favorite, “moose nose”.
Read it and be thankful for our modern supermarkets; and impressed at the sheer determination and ingenuity that came from being hungry.
I’ve got a book WILDWOOD WISDOM by Elsworth Jaeger in which he describes the various meats the Indians used, such as rabbit, porcupine, skunk, muskrat, beaver, dog,and lots more.
Think of eating all that WITHOUT SALT!
As the Mountain Men used to say, “Meat’s meat” as they chowed down on a cougar.
As Charlie Russell once said about those whites who had “gone Indian”, “by the time your hair is shoulder length, you can live without salt!”
I totally believe you.
This just a good excuse for my DH to eat Spanish, which I really like.
Real Indian indian is really gross. Earth worms humans. yuck.
I was wondering when the stupidest comment EVER on Free Republic would be made. I just found it. Its yours.
Neither did many Indians. They are not easy to kill with a bow and arrow, or spear. I wasn’t saying there was no good food available. I mentioned buffalo and venison. There were a few others. Mutton? Seriously. They were climbing into the Rockies after those bighorn sheep? I don’t think that was common.
Angie Harmon is part Native American...
This chef has Dine (Navaho) roots. They raised sheep for at least 200 years.
You can be as feckless as you desire. You still haven’t eaten antelope. And not all would have had access to it but many did. Not all had access to bear but the plains nomads did. You think you know so much and you really don’t
Plains Indians weren’t in the Plains until horses. They migrated from farther south.
Ok- I could eat without salt; but moose nose, never!
“They took the whole Cherokee Nation,
Locked us (?) on this reservation....”
really only true for the southern plains....much of the northern tribes were from the Canadian rockies before coming south into the dakota territory
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.