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A collection of twenty-seven delicious recipes representing the culinary legacy of various North American tribes is accompanied by a detailed account of the origins and influence of traditional Native American foods.
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Grade 3-6?Penner looks at the plant and animal life used as foodstuffs by the Indians of North America, focusing on the western tribes. More than a cookbook, this overview discusses the various Native peoples' concepts of food and the social obligations and meanings that traditionally accompanied them. Each of the 10 broad thematic chapters, such as "Discovering America," "The Hunt," and "Treasure," contain from one to half a dozen recipes. The text describes traditional, pre-Columbian foods eaten by various peoples and the changes that resulted with the introduction of European plants and animals. However, this arrangement is awkward, with different peoples from different regions of the country thrown together in forced categories. Often the recipes included seem randomly chosen, having little to do with the narrative in the chapter. A few of them, such as "broiled buffalo steaks" (feel free to substitute beefsteaks) and "roasted corn on the cob," are in such common use that one wonders why they were singled out here. The black-and-white reproductions, woodcuts, and drawings are attractive, but merely decorative and do little to enhance the theme of the book. An additional purchase.?Lisa Mitten, University of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3-6. Penner, who previously wrote about the food of the European colonists, begins here with a contrast: the first European settlers in North America nearly starved to death, but Native Americans had plenty to eat. The success of indigenous peoples in developing local resources is the subject of this book, which surveys tribes from all regions of North America and presents recipes in the midst of historical explanations. Some of the recipes are high in natural sugars and fats, possibly less appropriate for children today than for individuals who came from cultures in which physical labor was intense. But this is not simply a cookbook. It details the hard work involved in finding and preparing food as well as the joy found in eating, and its historical perspective will be useful to teachers. The book will be illustrated with photographs and drawings. Mary Harris Veeder
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