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Native American - Cooking and Food[edit | edit source]
Overview of Native American Cuisine History[edit | edit source]
Native American cuisine is very complex and comprises many types of food practices of natives of the Americas. Nowadays information about Native American cuisine is being collected from many different sources. Many of the old traditions and food celebrations are still retained by the modern day native people. Some of them became, over the years, representative for Native Americans and are cooked at social gatherings. Native Americans are known in this country under many different names like American Indians, Indians, First Americans, Amerindians, Aboriginal Americans, or Original Americans. These groups of Native Americans developed over the time their own and unique cuisine and in the same time influenced the American cuisine as well. Foods, such as cornbread, have been adopted by Americans from Native Americans. Also Native American cuisine was influenced in some cases by the European cuisine, Asian and African ones.
Native American cuisine of the United States developed over the time by combining old traditional influences with influences borrowed from other people. Allover the territory of the United States there are today spread numerous communities of Native Americans, and each of these communities have different ways of cooking traditional dishes and use different types of ingredients. Native Americans situated on the Eastern Woodlands used to crop plants like beans, corn and squash. Beside these some other types of domesticated crops like Magyars, quinoa, sumpweed, a variety of amaranth, and sunflower were planted on these lands. Some of the most popular dishes among people from these territories are corn bread, fried bread, pemmicam, succotash, bird brain stew, buffalo stew and acorn mush a special dish cooked usually by the Miwok people. The modern day Mexican cuisine was helped to develop by the Native American cuisine of Meso-America. People from this culture also have some special traditional dishes such as tamales, tlacoyos, pozole, mole, tortillas, mezcal and champurrado. The cuisine that developed in the South side of America , has many recipes known from the Nazca and Inca of Peru. Some of their recipes are grilled guinea pig, fried green tomatoes, ch’arki and humitas a dish very much alike Tamales.
Preparation Methods for Native American Cooking[edit | edit source]
Native American cuisine knows many different types of cooking methods some of them transmitted from generation to generation and some developed during the time under the influence of other people. Among the most popular modern Native American cooking techniques we might find barbecuing, baking, braising, grilling, deep frying, poaching, roasting, preserving, steaming, sautering, stewing and stir frying. Nowadays modern cooking methods found a way to adapt Native American cuisine to the latest influences and discoveries which concern food items or how they should be prepared. Still, food may be cooked following traditional methods and recipes using only indigenous ingredients and sometimes when possible using the original cooking techniques.
Special Equipment for Native American Cooking[edit | edit source]
Native American cuisine does not need to use special utensils in order to obtain and create unique ishes. Most of the equipment that this cuisine uses are similar to those used by the American cuisine. Still, in some parts of the country some communities are still using traditional cooking tools and original cooking techniques. The modern Native American cuisine uses utensils like deep mixing colander, footed bowls, soup plate, china plates, soup plate, mixing bowls, mughlai bowls, fry pans, uv bowls and non tip dishes. Also used in the American Native cuisine are kitchen tools like kitchen ladle, kitchen fork, kitchen skimmer, kitchen spoon, kitchen turner, perforated spoon, deep spoon, table spoon, tea spoon, slotted spoon, kitchen masher.
Native American Food Traditions and Festivals[edit | edit source]
Native American communities are numerous and spread all over the United States territory. Due to this fact it should be mentioned that Native American people have many festivals and holidays. Some of them are Hopi and Zuni Soyala New Year Festival, World Peace Day, Feast of the Black Christ, Tewa Turtle Dance, El Salvador’s Day, Navajo Sing Festival, World Religions Day, Ethnic Equality Month, Iroquois Mid-Winter Ceremony, Gender Equality Month, Iroquois Maple Ceremony, National Day of Prayer, and Birthday of Cesar Chavez. During all these celebrations special dishes are cooked and served. An ubiquitous dish to any celebration is frybread. This representative dish looks like a flat dough and it is fried in oil, lard or shortening. When this dish is served with ground beef, beans or shredded cheese it is called Navajo Tacos or Indian Tacos. Frybread ca be also served with sweet ingredients such as sugar or honey and it is called fried dough.
People in Native American Food[edit | edit source]
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The first American cuisine ever was the Native American cuisine. In the same time this complex cuisine was a real inspiration and influenced many other cuisine worldwide. Ingredients like Corn, Potatoes, Turkey and Squash were discovered by the Native Americans people, but easily were spread everywhere in the world. An important role in the development of the Native American cuisine had the immigrants that visited American lands and which left their mark over this cuisine. Their influences were perfectly adapted by the Native Americans to their traditions.