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The Cherokee Chefs Bringing Back North America’s Lost Cuisine

Melanie Wong | Jun 14, 202002:11 AM    

" . . . Barton wasn’t just learning about a few forgotten ingredients—she was rediscovering an entire food culture. When ancient Greeks and people around the Mediterranean were pressing olives into olive oil, tribes in the Eastern Woodlands were cultivating sunflowers and marsh elder to make cooking oil. Like rice farmers in ancient China, the ancestors of the Cherokee grew amaranth, maygrass, erect knotweed, and barley for pseudo-cereals and grains. Hog peanut and other bean-like fruits played a role similar to soybeans. Sugar was unknown in the Americas, so sweet tastes came from a slew of berries and fruits, including American black nightshade, savory ground cherries, and other interesting oddities. (Or at least they seem odd today.)

While squash, sunflowers, and berries remained staples, other crops were replaced by foods like corn, beans, and tomatoes from South and Central America. . ."

Amaranth, ground cherries and pitseed goosefoot (also mentioned in the article), I have consumed and cooked with. But none of the other food stuffs . . . have you?

The Cherokee Chefs Bringing Back North America’s Lost Cuisine

Researching traditional foods led them to the revelations of an archaeological dig in Kentucky.

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