American Indian Food

Overview

This, the first, in-depth survey of Native American Indian foodways is an amazing chronicle of both human development over thousands of years and American history after the European invasion. It sheds light not only on this group and their history but on American food culture and history as well. For thousands of years an intimate relationship existed between Native Americans and their food sources. Dependence on nature for subsistence gave rise to a rich spiritual tradition with rituals and feasts marking ...

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American Indian Food (Food in American History Series)

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Overview

This, the first, in-depth survey of Native American Indian foodways is an amazing chronicle of both human development over thousands of years and American history after the European invasion. It sheds light not only on this group and their history but on American food culture and history as well. For thousands of years an intimate relationship existed between Native Americans and their food sources. Dependence on nature for subsistence gave rise to a rich spiritual tradition with rituals and feasts marking planting and harvesting seasons. The European invasion forced a radical transformation of the indigenous food habits. Foodways were one of the first layers of culture attacked. Indians were removed from their homelands, forced to cultivate European crops such as wheat and grapes, new animals were introduced, and the bison, a major staple in the Great Plains and West, was wiped out. Today, American Indians are trying to reclaim many of their food traditions. A number of their foodways have become part of the broader American cookbook, as many dishes eaten today were derived from Native American cooking, including cornbread, clam chowder, succotash, grits, and western barbeque.

The story of Native American foodways presented here is an amazing chronicle of both human development over thousands of years and American history after the European invasion. Through cultural evolution, the First Peoples worked out what was edible or could be made edible and what foods could be combined with others, developed unique processing and preparation methods, and learned how to preserve and store foods. An intimate relationship existed between them and their food sources. Dependence on nature for subsistence gave rise to a rich spiritual tradition with rituals and feasts marking planting and harvesting seasons. The foodways were characterized by abundance and variety. Wild plants, fish, meat, and cultivated crops were simply prepared and eaten fresh or smoked, dried, or preserved for lean winters. The European invasion forced a radical transformation of the indigenous food habits. Foodways were one of the first layers of culture attacked. Indians were removed from their homelands, forced to cultivate European crops, such as wheat and grapes, new animals were introduced, and the bison, a major staple in the Great Plains and West, was wiped out. Today, American Indians are trying to reclaim many of their food traditions. Other traditions have become part of the broader American cookbook, as many dishes eaten today were derived from Native American cooking, including cornbread, clam chowder, succotash, grits, and western barbeque.

The scope is comprehensive, covering the six major regions, from prehistory until today. Chapters on the foodways history, foodstuffs, food preparation, preservation, and storage, food customs, food and religion, and diet and nutrition reveal the American Indians' heritage as no history can do alone. Examples from many individual tribes are used, and quotations from American Indians and white observers provide perspective. Recipes are provided as well, making this a truly indispensable source for student research and general readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Relatively few titles have been written covering American Indian Foods; much less in depth: this fact makes all the more valuable Linda Berzok's in-depth coverage of the history of American Indian foods and traditions. From how foods were gathered, prepared and stored to changing recipes, newly added foods, and food customs and traditions, American Indian Food is an important coverage."

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MBR Bookwatch

"The text covers food preparation, preservations, customs and rituals and the diets in various regions. Berzok is careful to emphasize regional and tribal differences in practices."

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Reference & Research Book News

"[E]xplores Native American foodways from prehistory to the arrival of Europeans to modern times, encompassing various regions and tribes….Complementing the narrative are a few recipies that describe how the dish was prepared, as well as a chronology, a glossary, and a selected biblipgraphy. Overall, this highly readable and thorough chronicle will be a welcome addition to public, academic, and high school libraries as it fills a gap in Native American and food history."

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Library Journal

Library Journal
This first volume in Greenwood's "Food in American History" series explores Native American foodways from prehistory to the arrival of Europeans to modern times, encompassing various regions and tribes. Berzok, a food writer and historian, organizes the chapters thematically rather than chronologically. For instance, Chapter 5 examines the role of food in various religious beliefs and practices, while Chapter 3 explores food preparation, preservation, and storage. Complementing the narrative are a few recipes that describe how the dish was traditionally prepared, as well as a chronology, a glossary, and a selected bibliography. Overall, this highly readable and thorough chronicle will be a welcome addition to public, academic, and high school libraries as it fills a gap in Native American and food history.-Lisa A. Ennis, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Lib., Lister Hill Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313329890
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2005
  • Series: Food in American History
  • Pages: 244
  • Sales rank: 820,928
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

LINDA MURRAY BERZOK is a food writer and historian who has contributed articles and essays to Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America and Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, among others.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : food, history and culture 1
2 Foodstuffs 49
3 Food preparation, preservation and storage 97
4 Food customs 127
5 Food and religion 143
6 Concepts of diet and nutrition 171
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