Native Village
Youth and Education news

Volume 3, December 2011

The Real Thanksgiving: The 10 Best Native American Harvest Dishes
Condensed by Native Village


Continue the Traditions Through the Holiday Season!



10. Sobaheg

Women in the
Wampanoag society made sobaheg, a rib-sticking meat stew. Grits, squash, powdered seeds and nuts help thicken this artichoke-laden soup.


9. Cornbread

The Wampanoag and most Native tribes prepared dough from maize that grew throughout the Americas. At the first Thanksgiving, it's possible that this starchy staple came served with curds -- a dairy product similar to modern-day cottage cheese

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8. Baked Squash and Wild Onions


Squash is often found at American Indian harvest festivals. Many versions of it still wind up on the Thanksgiving table. It's among most the traditional dishes preserved in popular American cookery.



7. Wild Rice and Cranberries


This tart, red fruit comes from the Northeast. American Indians would blend cranberries with wild rice, fruits or nuts. Variations of this dish can be found throughout the Americas.




6. Chippewa Wild Rice


This casserole boasts strips of beaten wild fowl eggs and chunks of smoked meat. Typically, wild boar bacon is used, but smoked deer meat also works. Garnish with wild chives.



5. Wild Salmon Poached in Sea Water

Many Native Indians in the Pacific Northwest cooked red salmon steaks at a bare boil in a willow basket. They spiced the filets with chiles and herbs.


4. Roasted Sweet Corn in its Husk


A favorite of southern tribes is cooking Indian corn cobs in their husks to preserve moisture. The damp charred husk perfumes the air with a sweet scent.


3. Zuni Green Chili Stew


This lamb stew simmers in a fresh, local chili puree. Juniper, green onions, and wild garlic add flavor to the broth.



2. Fry Bread


This crispy, flattened dough gets served as a side dish, or as a beef-topped main or honey-drizzled dessert.



1. Pinon Soup


A toasted pine-nut soup with a lamb-bone, wild bird, and milk broth. It is hearty and hot due to red chile powder, coriander, mint, and plentiful scallions.

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