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...
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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.
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