As with a lot of things, cuisine has movements and trends. If you look at how menus change, you may notice certain ingredients and dishes becoming more or less prominent over time. Currently, a lot of the influence in what’s hot to eat apparently stems from the indigenous people of this nation. Just what impact are they having on the food we consume, though?
The indigenous people had a variety of food here before settlers came along
People think of American cuisine as being hotdogs and French fries. However, food existed here long before these dishes were the norm, and it was made by the indigenous tribes of North America. Ingredients that were prominent before settlers landed in this part of the world included corn, squash, and beans. There was also a variety of meat, such as turkey, bison, and trout. Of course, there are so many other great foods available outside of these ingredients. However, there’s something to be said about the indigenous originals.
Owamni in Minnesota only uses ingredients available before European settlers came along
One of the best places to enjoy dishes inspired by indigenous Native Americans is Owamni, in Minnesota. This restaurant specializes in food that was only available before European settlers came along, such as smoked Lake Superior trout with a white bean spread. Other notable dishes here apparently include Choginyapi corn sandwiches with elk and wild rice sorbet, the latter served with Wojape syrup. The eatery is also reportedly operated by people from the Oglala Lakota tribe, with ingredients supposedly sourced from Indigenous growers and producers.
Wahpepah’s Kitchen in California is educating people about the health benefits of indigenous food
Another notable restaurant helping with the indigenous food movement is Wahpepah’s Kitchen in Oakland, California. Native chef Crystal Wahpepah is in charge of the establishment, which aims to teach the public about the health benefits of various indigenous foods. What better way to do that than to serve it up in a variety of delectable dishes? Such meals apparently include an acorn crepe, tacos made with bison or squash, and charred deer sticks. While some of these dishes might sound unusual, once you taste them, you’ll realize why they’re becoming so popular.
Other indigenous people are also making a splash with their delicacies
Of course, Native Americans aren’t the only indigenous group that are benefitting from this new movement. There are also the foods of Native Hawaiians and enslaved Africans that are also having a major impact on our cuisine. Places like Helena’s Hawaiian Food and Waiahole Poi Factory specialize in the former, where dishes like pipi kaula, squid luau, and chicken long rice form some of the outstanding delicacies. As for the latter, My Three Sons of Charleston and Bertha’s Kitchen are good places to visit for this Gullah Geechee cuisine. You can expect plenty of rice and seafood-based dishes, with common ingredients being cowpeas, okra, and shrimp.
Food is an excellent way to reconnect with the past and celebrate other cultures, and that’s exactly what this indigenous food movement shows us.