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Dear Piper,

Is there any original American food?

-Anonymous 

Dear Apple Pie Attacker,

Well, there are some foods that are as American as apple pie. Actually scratch that. MORE American. Because honestly, apple pie isn’t even American. The first recipe of apple pie was written in 1381. Can you guess where? Ding! Ding! Ding! England. What’s more American than England? I am not trying to throw shade, but I am. 

So, what are dishes that are original to the United States? Chocolate dipped bacon doesn’t count. The best place to look is at Native American cuisine. I don’t feel like I should have to explain this, but they were the first people to live on this land and have really engaging cultures.

One of the most recognizable dishes from Native Americans is cornbread. They made corn into the plant we know today, so it only makes sense that they expanded upon it. (So you can also say that corn is an original American food.) The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Creek tribes taught the recipe to colonists, so it can be inferred that someone in one of those tribes was the creator of cornbread. 

And if you like cornbread then you are in luck, because there are a ton of varieties of it. There are some that are similar to cakes, while there are some that have no flour at all, so people allergic to gluten do not fear. There is even a version that takes after Mexican cuisine with jalapeños in the cornbread and cheese on top.

Surprise. Surprise. The Native Americans elaborated on their creation of corn with. . . wait for it. . . pop corn! I cannot imagine the person that invented it that just wanted to heat up some corn seeds for fun and then have it pop on them. Then they had to either eat it themselves or convince someone else to do so. Either way I am happy that they did. What other food could I curl up with to watch Teen Mom OG?

Another American food made by Native Americans is fried green tomatoes. Normally when I think of fried green tomatoes, I think of the movie my mom keeps telling me to watch. But this is something even better and tastier than a DVD. And of course to make it you use, you guessed it corn flour to fry it! 

If you like energy bars then you are in for a treat. Another food created by Native Americans is pemmican which is basically an energy bar. It has a mixture of proteins and fats to keep you going all day. Some common ingredients in it includes bison, deer, elk, blueberries, cranberries and chokeberries. Pemmican is served three ways: raw, boiled into a stew or fried. The boiled form is called, ‘rubaboo’ while the fried version is called ‘rechaud.’ So that extends our number of original American foods.

These are nowhere close to all of the Native American dishes that originate in the United States, but to find out more and get recipes, check out this link

I am off to eat a giant bowl of popcorn!

Sincerely,

Patricia Piper

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Patricia Piper is a proud Hamline student who loves long walks on the beach, reading and helping people. She has a PHD in interpretive dance. loves to rescue cats in her free time and has about twenty in her house at one time.
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