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Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580082599
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580082594
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From potted smoked salmon of the Pacific Northwest to Peruvian ceviche, Brazilian cozido and Hawaiian poke, this book tries to cover over 3,000 miles of indigenous food traditions. But while the geographical scope of the book makes it fascinating to browse, it also limits readers’ ability to actually cook several of the recipes without extensive use of mail-ordered ingredients: where fresh cattails are available for Cattail Cakes, limu kohu (a popular Hawaiian seaweed used in Poke Aku) will likely not be. And a wild food guide would be essential to recreate many of the recipes that require foraging for ingredients. Occasionally, helpful substitutions are provided: fennel seed instead of licorice fern in Venison with Juniper and Wild Huckleberry Sauce or rosemary rather than pine needles for Coos-Style Grilled Squab. A few delicious berry and fruit recipes (Fresh Berry Leather, Raw Fresh Berry Jam, Huckleberry Sorbet, Wild Grape Dumplings, etc.) provide multiple substitutions for local berries and are simple to prepare. And though they took three times the water listed in the recipe to make, Wild Mustard Seed and Allium Crackers are quick, spicy and addictive. A long essay, "Reservation Foods," by George P. Horse Capture illuminates the adaptability of traditional cuisines to modern kitchens: his memories of childhood favorites include both scrambled powdered eggs and lard rolled in pemmican. Many of the book’s other essays focus on individual foods—maple syrup, corn, berries—but are too short to provide more than a glimpse of modern culture. But for all its flaws, this book serves as a fine introduction to a much larger project: the influence of native cooking on the modern culinary traditions.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Native American indigenous foods are only rarely celebrated by present-day Americans. Thanks to some thoughtful work by the Divinas, there is now a comprehensive cookbook covering the full range of native cuisine from all the diverse original inhabitants of the Americas. The Divinas offer recipes not just from North American Plains tribes but also from the peoples of Mexico, South America, the Arctic, and even Hawaii. Three different recipes for preparing rabbit illustrate the differences among the Native American cultures: one from Colombia braises the legs and thighs in coconut milk, a Great Basin version uses herbs and peppers, and a Peruvian-style employs garlic and ginger. Rabbit may be easily obtained in many markets, but recipes calling for wild boar or wild goose may be more difficult to reproduce. As befits the region's reputation for sophisticated cooking, the book's most complex dish involves stewing pork in a green mole sauce typical of Oaxaca. This treatise will be a boon for teens studying Native American cultures as well as for anyone curious about this land's first foods. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Cara R. Mcferran on November 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I work for Chef Divina, and we make a lot of the dishes from this book in the restaurant. The Wild Rice and Corn Fritters are a huge hit. Also the Huckleberry Sorbet is to die for! He wrote this book with his wife, they also won a James Beard Award for this book as well. This chef is awesome to work with and someone I look up to and hope to be like.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jkmgcc on March 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Fantastic Recipes. We had eaten at the Native American Smithsonian Restaurant everyday while in DC. The best food! We were on the waiting list for this cookbook for a year. Simple, good food.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Pawlcyn on September 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Some modern twists that make it user friendly in local supermarkets.Very Educational and great techniques used.
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By Amazon Customer on September 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book of native recipes and a lot of interesting stories to help you understand more about Native Americans.
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Format: Paperback
One of the most interesting museums on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Ten Speed Press, in association with the museum has published a cookbook written by Fernando and Marlene Divina that celebrates the native ingredients of the Americas. Foods of the Americas, Native Recipes and Traditions highlights over 100 recipes featuring corn, potatoes, chile, berries, wild rice, and other iconic new world ingredients. In addition to the recipes, the Divinas' have included a wealth of information on the history of such ingredients, the dishes created from them, and the people who have enjoyed them for centuries. The cookbook also features full color photography of recipes, ingredients, and historical vignettes.

I have made the tomatillo salsa, guacamole, tamales, and the empadas (South American version of empanadas) featured in Foods of the Americas. Everything was quite enjoyable, although it was my preference to add more seasonings to the empadas than the recipe called for in order to bring out the best flavor.

There's a little bit of something new for everyone in this cookbook. If you've grown up in the American southwest for example, you might find the recipes that arose from the Pueblo and Navajo to be common to your childhood, but you've probably never been exposed to the culinary traditions of the Cherokee, Algonquin, Multnomah, or Chippewa. Likewise, if you're from New England, Oneida cuisine might be pedestrian to you but what about the food of the Utes or Coos?

Foods of the Americas is a worthwhile addition to your cookbook collection. You can pick it up at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian or order it directly from Amazon.com.
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