The typical American Thanksgiving fare owes a great deal to American Indians. In fact, food consumed on a daily basis can trace its literal roots to what was cultivated in the pre-Colonial era.
A book published this week by the Minnesota Historical Society Press details the influence of American Indian culture on contemporary diets. “Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest” was written by Minnesota poet Heid Erdrich. MinnPost said the book includes recipes that are “intriguing, accessible and downright delicious,” with the bounty of harvests beyond Minnesota. They include indigenous staples like wild rice, game, foraged plants, nuts and berries.
In a recent interview on MPR, Erdrich said while she’s not a chef or even an experienced cook, she grew up sharing foods of the harvest. While there has been controversy over Thanksgiving’s origins, she regards it as a celebration of her community’s staples.
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