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Delicacies of Native American Cuisine

By Brett R on Nov 17, 2014 8:30 AM

Getting your Thanksgiving menu together can be challenging. Every family member has their own favorite dish that they expect to see on the table, and with the wide variety of dietary restrictions and preferences people have these days, it's impossible to please everyone.

One way you can make your your dinner unique and memorable is to add a traditional Native American recipe to your offerings. After all, the holiday is rooted in the fellowship between European settlers in New England and the Native American tribes already living there. The tribes who occupied the Upper Midwest, including Wisconsin, made nutritious and filling meals using the ingredients available in the region.

The wild rice dish pictured above is called manoomin, an Ojibwe term meaning "the good berry." There are many ways to prepare wild rice, as you can see here. You can find other unique recipes from the Potawatomi and the Oneida on the web.

Milwaukee Public Library has cookbooks containing Native American recipes as well. Tribal Cooking: Traditional Stories and Favorite Recipes, from the Minwanijigewin Nutrition Project of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, contains traditional preparations of various dishes, while a newer book by Heid E. Erdrich titled Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest combines local ingredients and preparations with foods from beyond their indigenous cultures (and which may sound more familiar to American eaters.)

Whatever you choose to dine on this season, may your celebration be a warm and enjoyable one!

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