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Aboriginal foods-

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    Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 19:17
We have a topic about aboriginal people which is sometimes controversial and hard to define but what did they eat? What did the aboriginal people in your area eat- plant wise?

I have studied native foods for survival training and sometimes the food the Native Americans ate tastes horrible.

A major staple for the California Indians was acorns from oak trees but they had to prepare it by leaching out the tannic acid. They made a flour out of it and some type of bread.

The tender shoots of white sage is like celery after peeling them.

In the southwest the Mesquite was grounded into a flour and made into a bread. I have been gathering the pods so we can grind them and combine it with wheat flour to make bread. Does anyone have a recipe for this? I was told mesquite came from Texas so I wonder which tribes used it?

In WA State Camas a bulb from a flower was a common source of nutrition for the Salish tribes but it had to be cooked since it is semi toxic.

Berries are very common in the Pacific Northwest today as it was when the Salish were dominant in E. WA

Miner’s lettuce with wild flower bulbs and wild onions is great so no doubt the Indians made this as part of their diet. We cheated with olive oil and vinegar
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2009 at 09:27
In the eastern woodlands of North America the native peoples had a rather varied diet. Many of them were farming peoples (at least part time) that grew maize, squash, beans and other plants. They also ate many sorts of fruits, nuts, roots and berries. In the spring some of the peoples collected the sap from the Sugar Maple. From the sap they could make suryp and similar substances to sweeten different dishes. They also used honey for sweetening.
 
Fish were caught in rivers, lakes and along the coast and in the estuaries. Also different animals and birds were hunted.
Some of their delicacies were bean porridge with the fat of bear and/or groundhog. They also made soup or porridge of maize. Sometimes they ate a sort of brawn made of bear paws.


Edited by Carcharodon - 24 Jul 2009 at 09:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2009 at 09:49
The Sami people of Scandinavia also ate a variety of different food. They ate wild plants as kwanne (Angelica archangelica) and other herbs and different berries (as for example blueberries, lingonberries and cloudberries). Sometimes they mixed the milk from the reindeer with different herbs and cooked it into a kind of porridge.
 
Meat from reindeer was common, it could be eaten fresh, dried or conserved in traditional ways. Also the intestines and stomachs could be cleaned and used to make blood sausage or buoidecalmmas (a kind of mix of grinded reindeer meat that was smoked).
In old times the Samis also milked their reindeer and made cheeze in molds.  Also the skull, hooves, bones, blood and marrow from the reindeer were used.
 
Meat from different wild animals and birds were also eaten, as bear, moose, hare and grouse.
Fish (like char, grayling, trout and whitefish) were also common, cooked, smoked or barbequed.
 


Edited by Carcharodon - 24 Jul 2009 at 09:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2009 at 13:28
It is very silly to talk about "aboriginal" foods, as if all the indigenous people shared the same culture, degree of development  and environment.
Anyways, the native food in Chile is delicious, so much that become part of the standard culture. We have tamales like foods, cooked chilies powder, monkey-puzzle tree pinons, quinua, corn based food, palm tree syrup, chicha and an amazing variety of combination that we consume in harmony with the Mediterranean diet, lot of sea food, and lot of fruits. Strawberry is native to Chile, for instance.


Edited by pinguin - 24 Jul 2009 at 13:45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2009 at 13:49
Here the main aboriginal food based on evidence was horse and deer meat, though wild boar, hares and dogs seem to be popular too. When farming came in the goat seemed to be a popular animal to farm and later the growing of grain.
 
England's oldest recipe is hedgehog and nettle stew.
 


Edited by Paul - 24 Jul 2009 at 13:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2009 at 14:32
Wow, 8000 years and English food hasn't improved a bit!
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2009 at 16:03
Great thread! Big smile
 
Thanks for the recipes Paul. I once had a book from the public library here that had ancient recipes of Mesopotamia and Rome but I didn't have a chance to read it and I didn't write down the Title and author before returning it (for which I am genuinely sad). And there are so many ancient cookbooks online; I couldn't wade through them to find it again...
 
Tell us how the mesquite bread turns out Eagle! And if you could give us a play by play of your processes, it would be greatly appreciated  Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2010 at 14:01
About Roman bred: David Henry Thoreau, the famous American philospher who wrote the fine book Walden, used to make bread after the instructions in the old Roman Catos (the older) book about agriculture, De Agricultura.

Edited by Carcharodon - 04 Jan 2010 at 14:02
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Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

About Roman bred: David Henry Thoreau, the famous American philospher who wrote the fine book Walden, used to make bread after the instructions in the old Roman Catos (the older) book about agriculture, De Agricultura.
 
Fine book? You must have read a different Walden. Either that, or I'm just not that big of a Thoreau fan. Wink
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2010 at 16:38
I thought his meditations over nature, ants and clear water in the Walden pond was rather appealing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2010 at 16:44
Well, Akolouthos, Thoreau the woodchuck connoisseur did make bread from rye and cornmeal while "squatting" at Walden. As you can see from the ingredients, any claim the recipe came from Cato the Elder's, De Agricultura is but another small elaboration on the "Walden" experience, which has attached so much bunkum as to become its own fantasyland.
 

Edited by drgonzaga - 04 Jan 2010 at 16:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2010 at 18:00
Thoreau wrote himself like this about baking bread:

Quote Neither did I put any sal-soda, or other acid or alkali, into my bread. It would seem that I made it according to the recipe which Marcus Porcius Cato gave about two centuries before Christ. Panem depsticium sic facito. Manus mortariumque bene lavato. Farinam in mortarium indito, aquae paulatim addito, subigitoque pulchre. Ubi bene subegeris, defingito, coquitoque sub testu. Which I take to mean, -- Make kneaded bread thus. Wash your hands and trough well. Put the meal into the trough, add water gradually, and knead it thoroughly. When you have kneaded it well, mould it, and bake it under a cover, that is, in a baking-kettle.

From Walden


Edited by Carcharodon - 04 Jan 2010 at 18:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2010 at 18:37
Carcharadon, please do not take Thoreau literally since this reference to Cato's "recipe" is as much an affectation as his use of the coined term "cerealian" in this relevant section of Walden, "Economy", which is essentially a polemic against his contemporaries and their life-styles. It's akin to claiming that the modern-day processed bread marketed as "Roman Meal" is just that the ancient Roman bread! The section you excised opens with the declaration:
 
Bread I at first made of pure Indian meal and salt, genuine hoe-cakes, which I baked before my fire out of doors on a shingle or the end of a stick of timber sawed off in building my house; but it was wont to get smoked and to have a piny flavor, I tried flour also; but have at last found a mixture of rye and Indian meal most convenient and agreeable.
 
Hence, if he did not use flour (farinam) he was not following Cato's recipe! In fact, this affectation for Latin references appears regularly in Walden as when Thoreau claims to have made a satisfactory meal of purslane and gives it the "Latin" name. Why he didn't call it by the actual vernacular, "hogweed", should give you an indication of what we are really discussing here. After all the sentence you quote comes after a lot of verbiage on yeast, which he did not use (it was expensive) and he simply falls upon Cato as a justification for his miserliness. Now what is really funny here is the peroration on yeast coming over "on the Mayflower"!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2010 at 18:42
Even if he did not always use the right ingredients it seems that he at least in some way followed the methods of old Cato. And recipes are often changed when one misses some ingredient, but it can at least be somewhat like the original.

Maybe one should start to do some experiments and baking bread according to Thoreau and compare it with bread made from Catos treatise.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2010 at 19:58
Carch, there's an entire "society" dedicated to re-enacting Walden...just think of it as a hangover from the 60s, and you would be long down on a list of recreationists playing around at Walden. The funny part here is how does Thoreau merit mention on a thread dedicated to "aboriginal" food by mentioning Cato!?! You'd have more luck in that department (aboriginal cuisine) by studying the kitchen at Washington's Mt. Vernon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2010 at 20:12
To go back to the subject of aboriginal food we have of course the interesting dish of Rockahominy, used by Native Americans in the Eastern woodlands (similar products were also used elsewhere under different names). This food was an excellent proviant for long marches and travels through the wilderness. It consisted of parched or roasted corn ground into a fine powder. This could be mixed with maple sugar and with dried grinded meat.

Edited by Carcharodon - 04 Jan 2010 at 21:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2010 at 21:28
Carch...that is no secret and is essentially known as hominy in the East (no need for the "rock" unless you are confused by the usage of "grits") and in Texas as pozole. Then there is succotash, which was famous long before Sylvester the Cat became frustrated with Tweety Bird--no relation to Lady Bird! Zizania (wild rice) has also become quite a business in the world of the organic zanies and pemmican no novelty for all those "survivalists" out there. Admittedly, most is beef jerky given the dearth of buffalo, but come on none of this stuff is historical "news". Hoe cakes, corn fritters and the such have a long history, and you really don't want to know how "fried green tomatoes" came about. The original "creamed corn" was not even "corn" at all but pressed hickory nuts! Any true blue Southerner of the United States knows all of this, and has known for quite a while, thus it is quite ludicrous for a Swede and Chilean to come around as "instructors" on the topic, so to emulate a certain Pinguin's vocabulary: buzz off intruders...

Edited by drgonzaga - 04 Jan 2010 at 21:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2010 at 21:39
Well, since noone brought up this subject before then I did so. And there are probably some non Americans here who have not heard about this kind of food.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2010 at 21:53
For goodnes sakes the "purslane" Thoreau bragged about is from India! Yes, hogweed entered Europe from the East and as of yet you have not even mentioned "maple syrup"...a handy substitute for that sugar cane addiction developed from another introduced staple. So "aboriginal" food is quite a fancy, you just have to figure out which aborigine you want to discuss: Want some aguacate
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 03:04
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

For goodnes sakes the "purslane" Thoreau bragged about is from India! Yes, hogweed entered Europe from the East and as of yet you have not even mentioned "maple syrup"...a handy substitute for that sugar cane addiction developed from another introduced staple. So "aboriginal" food is quite a fancy, you just have to figure out which aborigine you want to discuss: Want some aguacate


Hmm, did we not discuss rockahominy just a moment ago?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 03:42
Carch, I was simply underscoring just how foolish discussing anything from "first peoples" to the "aboriginal" diet can become! Man is an omnivore, hence someone is going to be eating something that was eaten by others earlier somewhere else. In a way diets are accidents of nature just as sedentarism is a habit that deviates from an earlier migratory pattern because if you agree with the "out of the forest" biz are we going to discuss whose lands they are going to enter into...after all, we would then have to investigate who came up with the idea of property even in the abstract such as "hunting grounds". Much of all of these arguments are little more than exercises in mental masturbation. You can certainly address the significance of certain crops that are introduced into a new environment and their impact: a good example is the introduction of the chick-pea into Northern European climes after the 2nd century. Yet are we to wax poetic on the Roman contribution to the diet of the Franks! The dispersal of food crops is an accepted phenomenon in history but such does not mean we must deliver tedious essays on the original cultivators and if they go unmentioned we are being self-centered egoistic racists! The Aztecs ate maize but they most certainly were not the people that refined its development...in fact the Aztecs were rudimentary foragers far removed from the center of its development. So to claim we owe it all to Nahuatl speakers is sheer bunkum. hence you can understand my frustration with these topics by my constant iteration of bunkum (perhaps I should just use NUTS!).  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 10:37
I expect that almost all our knowledge of food stuffs comes from hunter-gatherer times and our collective diet has narrowed over the centuries as information is lost.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 11:29
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

I expect that almost all our knowledge of food stuffs comes from hunter-gatherer times and our collective diet has narrowed over the centuries as information is lost.


On the contrary. The current diversity of food comes from the mixing of foods from all continents. For instance, half the vegetables of the current kitchen comes from the Americas, so people of Eurasia didn't enjoy them just 500 years ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 11:37
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

I expect that almost all our knowledge of food stuffs comes from hunter-gatherer times and our collective diet has narrowed over the centuries as information is lost.

And thank goodness. The Swedish aboriginal classic bark-bread wasn't much of a turn-on, foodwise.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 14:21
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

I expect that almost all our knowledge of food stuffs comes from hunter-gatherer times and our collective diet has narrowed over the centuries as information is lost.


On the contrary. The current diversity of food comes from the mixing of foods from all continents. For instance, half the vegetables of the current kitchen comes from the Americas, so people of Eurasia didn't enjoy them just 500 years ago.
 
NUTS! Do you hear me NUTS! The current "diversity" of the larder results from modern transportation and storage technology! Nothing else.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 16:19
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:



Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:


On the contrary. The current diversity of food comes from the mixing of foods from all continents. For instance, half the vegetables of the current kitchen comes from the Americas, so people of Eurasia didn't enjoy them just 500 years ago.
 
NUTS! Do you hear me NUTS! The current "diversity" of the larder results from modern transportation and storage technology! Nothing else.


Well, not only. There are also people that are spreading knowledge about how to enjoy many of those commodities that are transported. The more multicultured states of todays world have not only a richer diversity in foodstuffs but also in people who knows what to to with these foodstuffs.

And many of the foods that are transported must still have an origin, and also there must have been people in the original settings that knew how to handle or process those stuffs.
So storage and transportation is not enough.

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For goodness sakes, Carch, the pineapple originated in what would today be Paraguay, but you are not getting them for your table from there, that's for sure. And no Aztec ever sucked on a green mango but I doubt anyone purchasing a "filipino" on the streets of Morelia gives a hang as to the "original" setting for the blasted thing. And if you want to know who did spread knowledge of these edibles from beyond Europe's borders among them you will find your betes noires: missionaries. We won't mention assorted conquering groups interested in maintaining a "home cooked" kitchen. So let deal with reality and none of this romantic gobbledy-gook until you show me an Aymara cook introducing the potato to Dublin!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 23:34
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

...NUTS! Do you hear me NUTS! The current "diversity" of the larder results from modern transportation and storage technology! Nothing else.
 
Wrong as usual. The Spaniards with theirs galleons spread from the world half the fruits cultivated by the Amerindians.  That's why chilies are eaten in China and India, and why you can get your mouth full of nuts or peanuts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 23:39
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

For goodness sakes, Carch, the pineapple originated in what would today be Paraguay, but you are not getting them for your table from there, that's for sure. And no Aztec ever sucked on a green mango but I doubt anyone purchasing a "filipino" on the streets of Morelia gives a hang as to the "original" setting for the blasted thing. And if you want to know who did spread knowledge of these edibles from beyond Europe's borders among them you will find your betes noires: missionaries. We won't mention assorted conquering groups interested in maintaining a "home cooked" kitchen. So let deal with reality and none of this romantic gobbledy-gook until you show me an Aymara cook introducing the potato to Dublin!
 
So, what's your point? Spaniards spread most of the American fruits and vegetables from the Americas to the world. Brits and others also colaborated. The Dutch and Portuguese started plantations of some of those fruits in Asia, meanwhile suggar was grown in Cuba, coffee in Colombia and wine in Chile.
 
But why you have to react in such a ridiculous and pompous manner, as if the only informed person in the world were yourself?
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2010 at 00:40
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

I expect that almost all our knowledge of food stuffs comes from hunter-gatherer times and our collective diet has narrowed over the centuries as information is lost.


On the contrary. The current diversity of food comes from the mixing of foods from all continents. For instance, half the vegetables of the current kitchen comes from the Americas, so people of Eurasia didn't enjoy them just 500 years ago.

I knew someone was going to do that. I said our collective diet.
By that I mean, yes, Pakistanis weren't eating potato in the 10th centuries, but the knowledge that potato was edible was discovered by hunter-gatherer Americans. All our food knowledge comes from hunter-gatherers somewhere. Not necessarily the hunter gatherers who lived where you live. Our "new" foods are simply someone elses foods, they're not new to the species. Because the Europeans learnt from the Americans we have many American foods, they didn't learn from the Aborigines so we don't have many Australian foods.


Edited by Omar al Hashim - 06 Jan 2010 at 00:42
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