Native American Cooking

Native American cooking includes practices in the culinary arts of the native peoples of the all the Americas.

Modern day native peoples retain a rich body of traditional foods, some of which have become iconic of present-day Native American social gatherings (for example, frybread). Foods like cornbread are known to have been adopted into the cooking of the United States from Native American groups. In other cases, documents from the early periods of contact with European, African, and Asian peoples allow the recovery of food practices which passed out of popularity in the historic period (for example, Black Drink).

Native American cooking of the United States

The native cooking of the Native Americans of the United States:
American Indians of the Eastern Woodlands planted what was known as the "Three Sisters": corn, beans, and squash.
In addition, a number of other domesticated crops were popular during some time periods in the Eastern Woodlands, including a local version of quinoa, a variety of amaranth, sumpweed/marsh elder, maygrass, sunflower, and little barley.
Some known dishes
Succotash, a trio of lima beans, tomatoes and corn
Corn bread
Fry bread is a dish made from ingredients distributed to Native Americans living on reservations.
Buffalo stew, from the Cherokee Nation also called Tanka-me-a-lo
Acorn mush, from the Miwok people
Bird brain stew, from the Cree tribe

Native American cooking of Central America

Central America made a major contribution to shaping modern-day Mexican cooking.
Champurrado, a chocolate drink

Native American cooking of South America

Humitas, similar to modern-day Tamales, a thick mixture of corn, herbs and onion, cooked in a corn-leaf wrapping.
Fried green tomatoes, a nightshade relative native to Peru
Saraiaka or Chicha, a corn liquor
Ch'arki, a type of dried meat

Crops and ingredients
Maize, beans and squash were known as the three sisters for their symbiotic relationship when grown together by the North American and Central American natives.

Beans - Throughout the Americas.
Squash - Throughout the Americas.
Sweet potato
Potato - South American

South and Central America.
chile peppers
bell peppers
quinoa South America, Central America, and Eastern North America.
cassava Primarily South America.

Hunted or livestock

Horse: The only animal on the list introduced by Europeans, the horse was still very important to Native American cultures throughout the Americas (although famously on the North American Plains) in the historic era.
Squirrel: Many groups had no cultural stigma against the consumption of small mammals such as squirrels.
Guinea pig: Domesticated in the Andes.
Bison: A centrally important wild food and modern livestock animal.
Llama: Domesticated in the Andes.
Guanaco: Hunted in Southamerica by hunter-gatherer societies, for ex. in Patagonia until the 19th century.
Turkey: Domesticated at least once in Mexico.
Sloth,: extinct
Wooly mammoth,: extinct

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