Indigenous Cooking Revival

Aug 26 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: Indigenous cooking around the world is, by definition, local and seasonal. Sean Sherman is helping the Midwest learn about the foods available to his ancestors and to us today.

The Movement to Define Native American Cuisine
The New York Times
by Tejal Rao

Source: Marilylle Soveran

LAKE TRAVERSE INDIAN RESERVATION, N.D. — The moon was full and the chokecherries were ripe in the southeastern corner of North Dakota. “It’s the one smell that shoots me back to being young,” said Sean Sherman, as the berries boiled under a red-veined froth.

Mr. Sherman has simmered corn silk with purple bergamot blossoms to make tea, and braised rabbit with spruce tips. He has revived chaga, the fungus that blooms on birch trees, in warm hazelnut milk, and burned juniper branches and corn cobs all the way down to a soft black ash.

These techniques aren’t borrowed from the cutting-edge kitchens of New York or Copenhagen. Mr. Sherman, a 42-year-old chef who is Oglala Lakota, draws from the knowledge of the Lakota and Ojibwe tribes who farmed and foraged on the plains of the Midwest.

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