Chef John Farais discusses native foods, concentrating on California. He harvested acorns, a major native food source, typically ground as a flour.
A Lakota squash, a cucurbita gourd native to the Americas. He dried squashes in the traditional manner and made a Mandan squash soup.
Native corn that John has grown and dried.
Some native foods; from bottom, amaranth (puffed), acorn flour, dried squash.
Dried cholla buds. The foods of the Sonoran Desert have sustained the Tohono O’odham people for countless generations.
Chef Farais grinds roasted sunflower seeds to a paste and will add this to the soup. It is a source of protein and fat in the traditional native diet.
Speckled Tepary beans. The name tepary may derive from the Tohono O'odham phrase t'pawi or "It's a bean". The Tepary bean has a rich cultural history stretching back more than six thousand years in the arid landscape of Mexico and the US Southwest. It is a food listed in the Slow Food Ark of Taste.
Dried elderberries. They are like dried currants and taste sweet.
Mesquite flour. The bean pods of the mesquite can be dried and ground into flour.
Dried wild grape seeds.
Puffed amaranth. Amaranth is often discussed as an inexpensive native crop that could be cultivated by indigenous people in rural areas, providing a fast-growing, hardy, inexpensive, nutrition-rich and environmentally sustainable vegetable. It has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare for indigenous people worldwide.
Puffed wild rice. Wild rice is heated in a dry pan until it pops like popcorn. Tasty just with salt, you can add other ingredients, e.g. nuts and dried fruits, for a handy and portable meal.
The Mandan squash soup is on the boil.
We snack and cook, cook and snack, while Chef Farais tells us about the native foods.
Acorn and mesquite flour muffins. The had a distinctive earthy taste and were a little sweet, though they had no added sugar.
A main-dish made of re-hydrated kelp (seaweed) sauteed with onions, oranges and smoked oysters. Very tasty and a big hit with the crowd.
Chef Farais at the stove, putting the finish on the soup.