Foods of the Americas

Native Recipes and Traditions

By Fernando Divina; Marlene Divina;
(Ten Speed Press, Paperback, 9781580081191, 240pp.)

Publication Date: June 8, 2010

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Description

For many American Indians, food is more than sustenance--it is also of vital cultural significance. Salmon, buffalo, berries, acorns, quinoa, wild rice, tomatoes, chocolate, and especially corn--where these indigenous staples flourish, they have become a central part of Native American ceremonies and creation stories.
 
This illuminating book, produced in association with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, celebrates the amazing diversity of the original foods of North, Central, and South America. Winner of a 2005 James Beard Award, Foods of the Americas highlights indigenous ingredients, traditional recipes, and contemporary recipes with ancient roots. Written by chef Fernando Divina and his wife, Marlene Divina (who is of Chippewa, Cree, and Assiniboine heritage), Foods of the Americas includes 140 modern recipes representing tribes and communities from all regions of the Americas.
 
Some of the specialties are:
      Fry Bread
      Turkey with Oaxacan Black Mole
      Wild Rice and Corn Fritters
      Venison with Juniper and Wild Huckleberry Sauce
      Chilean-Style Avocado and Shrimp Salad
 
To complement the recipes, Foods of the Americas also features nine illustrated short essays by American Indian writers who offer personal insights into a variety of indigenous food traditions. With enticing food photography and images from the museum’s collection, Foods of the Americas is not only an innovative tribute to the foods of the Western Hemisphere but also a gorgeous testament to the Native contribution to American cuisine.




About the Author

Fernando Divina has been the executive chef at several acclaimed restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. Marlene Divina was the creator and longtime author of a children’s column in the Skamania [Washington] Pioneer newspaper. Enrolled in the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa of Montana, she is also of Cree and Assiniboine descent.  Since 1989, the Divinas have provided consulting services for the hospitality industry. During the early 2000s, they worked with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to conceptualize its Mitsitam Café, which serves meals based on the native foods of North and South America. In 2008, Fernando and Marlene, along with their son, Zoey, opened the popular Terrace Kitchen restaurant in Lake Oswego, Oregon, which specializes in regional cuisine and locally sourced ingredients.




Praise For Foods of the Americas

“This very important book will open the reader’s mind to the culinary wisdom and ingenuity of the Native peoples of the Americas. Then it will open the reader’s mouth to an enticing world of new flavors, which are in fact ancient and indigenous.”
--Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets
 
“The best reflection of original American food and recipes to date.”
--The New York Times

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