Published on October 21, 2011 by Amy
The three staples of Native American food are corn, squash, and beans. Other foods that have been used widely in Native American culture include greens, Deer meat, berries, pumpkin, squash, and wild rice.
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The Native Americans are well revered for being resourceful people, and when it comes to Native American food, there is no difference. They were well versed at using the ingredients that were readily available to them and for making many different foods with them. Corn and various corn products are abundant in Native American food recipes and they have lent many of their earliest delicacies to the American culture as a whole.
Corn is such a big staple in Native American culture that not only do they frequently cook with corn as we know it, but they also use what’s known as Harinilla, or Blue Corn Meal. Harnilla can be ground into flour and used for baking tortillas and other starches. Native American food also consists of the resourceful use of meat. Besides deer, the Native Americans frequently ate rabbits, Prairie dog, Beaver, Lamb, Buffalo, Mutton, and Pork. Using wild grains and vegetables was also commonplace in the Native American diet and along with squash; sage, wild onions, cabbage, pumpkins, and cactus played a vital role in Native American food.
Along with the staples and animal sources, herbs also played a vital role in early Native American food. Many of the earliest forms of medicine were derived from these food sources as well. The Native Americans were masters at making poultices, teas, and herbal remedies. They used herbs and plants such as Peppermint, Spearmint, Clover, Sage, and Rosehips to make teas and other foods. Today’s society and culture owes much of what it has learned about food and the natural American resources to the early Native Americans.