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THE OLD AND THE NEW IN CORN CULTURE


THE OLD AND THE NEW
IN CORN CULTURE

Page

 
1

Corn The Great American Cereal
Corn and the Early Colonies

2 Corn and the Indian
3a Photos - Corn & Tools
3b Photos - Indians in corn fields
4a Photos - Corn Drying & Hopi field
4b Photos - Mortar and Pestles
5 Kinds of Corn Grown by the Indians.
6 Primitive Seed-testing Methods.
The Nettle Seed Tester
7 Primitive Corn-Planting Methods
8 Indian Cornfields
Primitive Tools
9 Plants as Indicators of the Season
10 Seed Selection and Storing
11

Indian Corn Foods

12

Primitive and Modern Methods of Culture
13 Corn and the Westward Movement
14 Corn and the Packing Industry
15 The Silo and the Corn Crop
16 Variations of the Corn Plant
17 Corn and the Struggle for Democracy

 

 

From the Yearbook of the United States Department of Agriculture 1918
page 11

By H. Howard Biggar,
Office of Corn Investigations, Bureau of Plant Industry.

INDIAN CORN FOODS.

   The colonists obtained their first knowledge of how to use corn as a food from the New England Indian tribes. Capt. John Smith, in his accounts, mentions the preparation of several corn foods. The Iroquois Indians had at least 40 different ways of cooking corn. The "travelling food" of this tribe is an interesting example, as showing Indian food combinations. Soft or flour corn was used. It was shelled and parched slightly in the embers of a wood fire. Then it was thrown into a mortar, maple sugar was added, and it was pounded and sifted until it was a very fine meal. Sometimes dried fruits, such as cherries, were pulverized with it. The food was carried on hunting expeditions and in time of war. One-fourth of a pound, diluted in a pint of water, was a good dinner.
   Succotash was a dish prepared by New England and middle-western tribes. Corn was cut from the cob, placed in a kettle with a quantity of beans, and then boiled. Salt and butter were added as seasoning.
   According to Dr. Walter Hough, of the National Museum, the Hopis had 52 kinds of corn foods. One of the main ones was prepared as follows: Large pits were dug in the sand. They were heated with burning brush, filled with roasting ears, and tightly closed for a day. When the pit was opened, corn feasts were held.
   Hominy was a food used by most of the northern and middle-western tribes. Wood ashes were used to make lye water for removing the hulls. Flint corn kernels were placed in the water with the wood ashes. The water was boiled until the hulls were removed. The hulled corn was then rinsed off, put into another kettle with clear water, and oiled.
   A food of the Gros Ventre Indians, called "husared," was prepared by grinding corn and placing it in corn husks. The husks were folded over with the corn on the inside, tied up, and then dipped into boiling water.
   Corn smut (Ustilago zea) was often used as a food by some tribes. The Gros Ventre tribe gathered the smut, boiled it, dried it, broke it into bits, and ate it with corn as a relish. It is said to have tasted like corn and was very palatable.

 

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