I am from Minnesota and belong to the Ojibwe tribe. I didn’t grow up on a reservation or anything but we did eat these foods when I was a kid. I live in New York now and I realized that people really don’t know much about indiginous foods – I can get an Ethiopian or Cantonese meal delivered in five minutes but wild rice soup? Forget it. So I thought I’d share some of my fav recipes with you guys. (I might be a little homesick.)
This is a staple grain and it’s soooo healthy. It’s nutty and flavorful – many people on reservations still farm it in the traditional way. This is how we most often ate it, as a salad with nuts, berries and greens. http://blog.streaminggourmet.com/2011/08/28/wild-rice-cranberry-and-almond-salad/
Wild Blueberry Bannock
This is a dope breakfast food. Wild blueberries taste very different than supermarket ones – much sweeter but way smaller. You can make the bread without the berries to dip in soup, it’s crumbly and perfect for broth. http://sundaycrush.com/wild-blueberry-bannock/
I couldn’t actually find a recipe for a traditional stew but it’s pretty straight forward. Scoop out a pumpkin. Put more pumpkin, meat, veggies and broth in the pumpkin. Bake. Eat.
This is a plate that you would typically see at a ceremony or pow wow. The fish is almost always fresh caught and fried with a particularly light batter. you can get traditional batter here: http://redlakenationfoods.com/index.cfm/mixes-batters
I don’t know anywhere else where people eat june berries. But in the summer, in my grandmother’s house, that’s ALL YOU EAT. Juneberry jam, syrup, pie, muffins, cookies…you name it. They’re tart and small and super tasty. http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/pies/north-dakota-juneberry-pie/
It’s exactly what it sounds like – fried dough. It’s best when it’s crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and piping hot. At a pow wow you get them in these little paper bags and they just melt in your mouth. http://www.manataka.org/page180.html
This is my favorite thing. You can put anything on top of fry bread; sugar, salt, chocolate, cheese. But the most amazing and popular thing is to just make a taco. Meat, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, sour cream and salsa all on top of a savory donut. I’m so surprised this hasn’t become a trendy food craze yet. I am keeping the dream alive that day will come. http://tohbis.com/food.php
There’s many traditional items I didn’t add for but wanted to mention: Maple Syrup is huge, we have giant get togethers where we all go out and tap the tress and boil the sap together. Also, fiddleheads, squash, morel mushrooms, wild game like deer, turkey, beaver, even bear. Not many people still live in the traditional way but a lot of families like mine try to at least keep some of the old ways incorporated into our lives. Hope you guys enjoy a couple of these, miigwech! (that’s thank you in Ojibwe) You can find more recipes here: http://birchbarkbooks.com/all-online-titles/original-local UPDATE: My cousin saw this and knew it was me right away. We haven’t talked in like, 10 months and I had no idea he was an imgurian – So there you go, anonymous internet identity blown and thesis confirmed that all Ojibwe’s know each other. HA!