Episode 1024 | Traditional Pueblo Foods

Episode 1024 | Traditional Pueblo Foods

>> FOOD IS IMPORTANT NOT JUSTTO SUSTAIN LIFE BUT HOW IT CONNECTS US TO TRADITIONS ANDOTHER PEOPLE.

SOME NATIVE AMERICANS ARESEEKING OUT FOODS THEIR ANCESTORS ATE IN AN EFFORT TOIMPROVE HEALTH AND RECONNECT WITH THEIR CULTURE.

CORRESPONDENT MEGAN KAMERICKSAT DOWN EARLIER THIS FALL WITH AN EDITOR OF THE PUEBLOFOOD EXPERIENCE COOKBOOK AND A LOCAL CHEF.

THEY TALKED ABOUT RECIPES THATAPPEAL TO ADULTS AND KIDS AND WHY FOOD TRADITIONS AREIMPORTANT FOR COMMUNITIES.

>> THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ONNEW MEXICO INFOCUS.

ROXANNE SWENTZELL, AUTHOR OFTHE PUEBLO FOOD EXPERIENCE, WHOLE FOODS OF OUR ANCESTORSAND LOIS ELLEN FRANK, SCHOLAR, AUTHOR, CHEF AND I WANT TOTALK WITH YOU BOTH ABOUT RETURNING TO NATIVE FOODS.

ROXANNE FOR NEARLY THREEYEARS, ALMOST FOUR YEARS, YOU HAVE EATEN ONLY MOSTLY FOODEATEN BY YOUR ANCESTORS, BEFORE EUROPEAN CONTACT.

WHY DID YOU WANT TO DO THISAND HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT? >> I WANTED TO DO IT BY WAY OFTRYING TO KEEP OUR NATIVE CROPS ALIVE, BECAUSE I HAVEBEEN A SEED SAVER FOR OVER 30 YEARS AND ONE WAY TO TRY TOBRING BACK THE ACTUAL CROPS BACK INTO THE CULTURE AND TOFIND OUT IF IT IS POSSIBLE IN TODAY'S TIME.

ALSO, BECAUSE OF THE HEALTHISSUES WE FIND IN THE PUEBLOS, IN ALL THE TRIBES AT THISPOINT, AND SEEING WHAT IT WOULD DO TO US, PHYSICALLY, TOEAT OUR ANCESTRAL FOODS ONLY.

SO, WE DID A TRIAL TESTFOR THREE MONTHS AND TESTED 14 VOLUNTEERS FOR THREE MONTHS.

GOT PHYSICAL BLOOD TESTS ANDSTUFF TO SEE WHAT EATING ONLY PRE-CONTACT DIET WOULD DO TOUS AND RESULTS WERE INCREDIBLE.

>> REALLY.

IMPROVED HEALTH OUTCOMES,BLOOD PRESSURE, WEIGHT LOSS.

>> YEAH, AND MENTAL CLARITY.

I MEAN EVERYBODY GOT HEALTHIERIN ALL WAYS.

>> WHAT WAS THAT LIKE FOR YOUTO EXPERIENCE THAT? >> MORE THAN A DIET.

MORE THAN HEALTH.

IT WAS A VERY SPIRITUALJOURNEY INTO GETTING RECONNECTED TO OUR CULTURE ANDPLACE.

I WAS THINKING AT THE TIMETHAT, WOW, I DIDN'T KNOW FOOD WOULD BE THE JOURNEY THATWOULD LEAD US CLOSER THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN TO WHAT IBELIEVE OUR ANCESTORS WERE HOLDING.

>> YOU ALSO HAVE BEEN FOR 25YEARS WRITING, EDUCATING, TEACHING PEOPLE HOW TO COOK.

WHAT WAS YOUR JOURNEY? HOW DID IT BEGIN AND DID YOUHAVE SIMILAR KIND OF EXPERIENCES? >> I THINK WE'RE A LOTALIGNED.

MY JOURNEY WAS A LITTLEDIFFERENT.

AS A PROFESSIONAL CHEF ANDBEING CLASSICALLY TRAINED, WHAT I NOTICED WAS THAT THEREWERE NO NATIVE PEOPLE IN COMMERCIAL KITCHENS, VERY FEWWOMEN, AND IN CULINARY SCHOOLS THEY WERE TEACHING UP ANDCOMING CHEFS THAT NATIVE PEOPLE DIDN'T MAKE ACONTRIBUTION, THAT AMERICAN CUISINE WASN'T HALF NATIVE, IFNOT MORE.

SO, I THINK THE JOURNEYSTARTED A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY THAN ROXANNE'S JOURNEY BUT ASI BEGAN TO RESEARCH WHAT ARE NATIVE FOODS, WHAT DO WE ALLHAVE IN COMMON, HOW DID WE TRADE FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS,WHAT WERE THOSE FOODS AND REALLY BREAKING IT DOWN INTO AHISTORIC CONTINUUM FROM THE PRECONTACT TO THE FIRSTCONTACT, TO THE GOVERNMENT ISSUE, TO NOW.

>> YOU MEAN GOVERNMENT ISSUECOMMODITIES? >> I AM TALKING ABOUTRELOCATION.

MY TRIBE WAS RELOCATED.

>> WHAT IS YOUR TRIBE? >> KIOWA.

FORCED RELOCATION; WE WENTFROM BISON CULTURE TO OKLAHOMA AND THE GOVERNMENT GIVING USSEEDS AND SAYING PLANT.

AND WHILE THAT IS SOMETHING WECAN LEARN, IT WASN'T INHERENTLY WHO WE WERE.

AND, THIS DISRUPTION WITH FOODAND THE KNOWLEDGE SURROUNDING FOOD AND LAND IS VERYDIFFICULT IN TERMS OF A HISTORY OF NATIVE PEOPLE ANDTHEIR FOODS.

WE HAVE 566 FEDERALLYRECOGNIZED TRIBES.

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM KNOWSHOW TO MAKE FRY BREAD SO THE GOVERNMENT SUCCEEDED.

THAT DOESN'T INCLUDE STATERECOGNIZED TRIBES.

>> THEY SUCCEEDED BECAUSE THATIS WHITE FLOUR.

>> WHITE FLOUR AND LARD.

>> PRETTY MUCH THE WORST KINDSOF THINGS.

>> SUGAR ON TOP OR THE BASICINDIAN TACO, AND WHERE WE ARE NOW IS WHAT I AM CALLING THENEW NATIVE.

THE NEW NATIVE AMERICANCUISINE IS GOING BACK TO THE FUTURE.

WE GO BACK IN HISTORY TO MOVEFORWARD.

WE RECLAIM WHAT IS OURS.

WE TELL IT IN OUR OWN VOICE.

WE TEACH YOUNG CULINARYSTUDENTS HOW TO BE NATIVE CHEFS AND COOK THEIR NATIVEFOODS.

AND IN EVERY RESTAURANT, EVERYGAMING FACILITY, ALL OVER THE WORLD, AND WE ENCOURAGE OTHERCULTURES TO DO THE SAME THING.

>> TALK ABOUT THE KIND OFFOODS — YOU WENT BACK TO THESE PRE-CONTACT FOODS.

WHAT ARE THEY? WE HAVE THIS LOVELY DISPLAY.

WHAT ARE THESE PRECONTACTFOODS? WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT.

>> IT WAS WHAT WAS IN OURENVIRONMENT AT THAT TIME.

I COULD GIVE YOU A ROUGH IDEAOF LIKE THE ELK, DEER, RABBIT, BUFFALO, FISH THAT WERE HERE,DIFFERENT BIRDS, DIFFERENT RODENTS.

INSECTS AND THEN THE CROPSTHAT WERE GROWN.

>> CORN.

>> CORN, BEANS AND SQUASH.

AMORETH IS ONE WE FORGET, BUTTHAT WAS VERY MUCH PROMINENT IN THIS AREA AT THAT TIME.

THEN ALL THE WILD HERBS ANDSTUFF THAT WE WERE PICKING, ROOTS, NUTS.

>> I WANT TO ASK YOU, YOU MADEA TRAIL MIX.

WHAT DOES THAT HAVE IN IT? >> ONE OF THE STAPLES WHEN WEWERE GOING INTO THIS DIET AND WE COULDN'T EAT ANY OUTSIDEFOOD, WE WERE USED TO FAST LIFE STYLE AND SNACK FOOD ANDSO WE HAD TO THINK OF THINGS THAT WE COULD EAT ON THE ROADAND THAT WERE ALSO KIND OF SWEET BECAUSE WE WERE ALLGOING THROUGH DETOX, MOSTLY OF SUGAR.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WECAME UP WAS THIS TRAIL MIX WHICH IS MADE OUT OF PUMPKINSEEDS AND CURRANTS AND YOU COULD ADD SUN FLOWERS OR PINONNUTS, THAT IS A NICE ADDITION TO IT AND IT IS A NICE SNACKFOOD.

>> LOIS, I KNOW THAT YOUINCORPORATE CONTEMPORARY FOODS IN WITH NATIVE FOODS AND YOUHAVE A BLUE CORN MUSH AND BERRY COMPOTE.

WHAT IS THE RESULT OFCOMBINING NATIVE FOODS AN TRADITIONS WITH MORECONTEMPORARY — WHAT IS THE BENEFIT? >> AS A CHEF, YOU KNOW, WHATWE ARE DOING IS WE ARE TAKING EUROPEAN CULINARY TECHNIQUESIN A MODERN KITCHEN.

A GOOD EXAMPLE WOULD BE, DO IKNOW HOW TO GRIND CORN ON THE GRINDING STONES THAT HAVEBEEN IN MY FAMILY FOR GENERATIONS? YES.

DO I DO THAT EVERYDAY FOR ALLOF THE FOODS? NO, WE HAVE MODERN MACHINESAND APPLIANCES, CUISINART, FOOD GRINDERS, SO, IINCORPORATE SOME OF THE MODERN TECHNIQUES FOR USING FOOD ANDTHEN THE PRESENTATION.

I THINK AS NATIVE PEOPLE WEHAVE ALWAYS BEEN ARTISTS AND WE SEE THAT IN THIS BEAUTIFULPOT.

WE SEE IT IN THE JEWEL LIKECOLORS OF OUR CORN.

WE SEE IT IN THE WAY WE DRESS.

WE SEE IT IN EVERYTHING.

AND, IT IS ALSO IN OUR FOOD.

SO, HOW WE PRESENT IT, HOW WEDESIGN IT, IS ALSO ART.

WE USED TO PAINT OUR PONIESWHEN WE WOULD RIDE, YOU KNOW, LIKE WARRIORS TO GO HUNTING.

WE USED TO PAINT ALL OF OURPOTTERY AND DESIGN OUR BEAUTIFUL REGALIA AND WE CANDO THAT SAME THING WITH FOOD.

AS A CONTEMPORARY CHEF, I AMBRINGING IN THAT ARTISTIC ELEMENT AND ENCOURAGINGSTUDENTS TO HAVE THE SAME THING.

ALL OF US CAN HAVE THE SAMERECIPE.

WHAT WE DO WITH IT MAKES USEACH OUR INDIVIDUAL ARTIST.

SO, YOU KNOW, THE TRAIL MIX,ROXANNE IS DOING IT ONE WAY.

I MIGHT SAY, WHAT OTHER WILDBERRIES COULD I ADD.

IT IS THE SAME THING.

WE ARE JUST DOING IT A LITTLEDIFFERENTLY.

>> ROXANNE, YOU ALSO HAD SOMEFAMILIAR RECIPES LIKE BLUE CORN PANCAKES, FRIEDGRASSHOPPERS.

WERE THOSE TASTY? >> THEY ARE TASTY IF YOU COOKTHEM RIGHT.

YOU HAVE TO CATCH THEM WHENTHEY ARE YOUNG.

WHEN THEY GET BIG, THEY GETCHEWY.

THEIR LEGS ARE A LITTLE CHEWY.

>> OKAY, I AM WILLING TO TRY.

>> DID YOU GIVE UP CHILE? >> YES.

CHILE WAS NOT HEREWHEN THE SPANISH ARRIVED.

THESPANISH BROUGHT IT UP THROUGH MEXICO.

AND SO WE HAD TO GO OFF OFBASIC THINGS THAT WE THOUGHT WERE INTO OUR TRADITIONS LIKECHILE, LIKE FRY BREAD, LIKE COFFEE.

ALCOHOL.

YOU KNOW, ALL THOSE THINGS,NO.

>> ARE YOU STILL ON THATSTRICT — >> I AM NOT ON THE FIRST PARTBECAUSE WE WERE GUINEA PIGS.

WE WANTED TO SEESCIENTIFICALLY WHAT IT WAS DOING MEDICALLY TO OUR BODY.

SO, DURING THAT FIRST THREEMONTHS, WE WERE VERY STRICT.

AND THEN SOME OF US STAYED ONPRETTY HARD CORE FOR AS LONG AS WE COULD.

AND WE WOULD GO ON AND OFFDEPENDING.

WHEN YOU'RE TRAVELING IT ISHARD TO FIND THESE FOODS.

BUT, FOR ME, IF POSSIBLE, IEAT THIS WAY ALL THE TIME.

>> YOU HAVE BOTH TAUGHTCHILDREN ABOUT NATIVE FOODS, AND TAUGHT THEM HOW TO COOKIT.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE REACTION? I AM THINKING A KID IS LIKE ICOULD HAVE A FRIED GRASSHOPPER OR A TWINKIE.

>> WELL, WE DO A NATIVEAMERICAN KIDS CAMP AND WE WORK ON A CURRICULUM, WRITING ACURRICULUM RIGHT NOW WITH THE SANTA FE PUBLIC SCHOOLS FORINDIAN EDUCATION AND WE TEACH CHILDREN HOW TO CUTVEGETABLES, MAKE STEW AND GRIND CORN AND HOW TO MAKEMUSH, HOW TO BOIL THE BERRIES TO MAKE IT INTO A DESERT.

THEY LOVE IT.

I THINK WHAT HAPPENS IS WHENYOU CREATE A PRIDE IN THE FOODS THAT ARE TRADITIONAL,AND YOU TEACH SKILLS, CHILDREN GROW UP LEARNING, YOU KNOW,AND YOU KNOW YOU'RE A SUCCESS WHEN KIDS SAY, I HAVE TO SAVETHIS.

CAN I HAVE ANOTHER ONE? CAN I SAVE IT.

I HAVE TO SHOW MY MOM.

AND THEN WHEN MOM COMES TO PICK THEM UP, THEY SAY, MOM,LOOK WE MADE THIS PUDDING.

IT IS A NATIVE AMERICANPARFAIT.

IT IS CORN MUSH WITH BERRIESAND WE ARE DOING THE SAME THING AS WHAT THEY WOULD SEE AYOGURT PARFAIT BUT WE DIDN'T HAVE YOGURT.

IF YOU WANT TO THINK YOU COULDMILK A WILD OX TO GET CHEESE OR BUTTER, IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

WE DIDN'T MILK BISON.

WE DIDN'T HAVE DAIRY.

WHEN WE SEE ALL THECOMMERCIALS THAT SAY YOU NEED YOGURT FOR PRO-BIOTICS, FOR9,500 YEARS WHAT DID NATIVE PEOPLE DO? WE USED OUR NATIVE FOODS.

AND SO, YOU KNOW, WE BRINGTHAT, BRING THE STORIES, WE BRING THE FOODS AND I THINKKIDS ARE SPONGES AND I THINK IT IS AN AMAZING PROCESS.

>> DID THEY LIKE THEGRASSHOPPERS? >> SOME OF THEM BUT YEAH.

>> WE CAN'T GO BACK TOPRECONQUEST WORLD OR TIME SO HOW DO YOU HOPE THATINCORPORATING THESE FOODS INTO OUR DIET NOW CAN HELP US INTHIS MODERN WORLD? >> OBVIOUSLY WE LIVE IN AMODERN AGE NOW BUT WE CAN EAT THIS WAY.

SO, IN A WAY WE CAN GO BACK.

BUT, WITH A CONSCIOUSNESS –WITH A CONSCIOUS CHOICE TO DO THAT BECAUSE IT IS ARECONNECTING TO PLACE AND CULTURE.

AND IT DOESN'T MEAN EVERYONESHOULD EAT THIS WAY.

I BELIEVE, YOU KNOW, I KNOWEVERYONE IS INDIGENOUS TO SOMEWHERE AND IT IS MOREASKING THE QUESTION, WHERE ARE YOU FROM ORIGINALLY ON THISEARTH? WHAT DID YOUR BODY ADAPT TOFOOD-WISE BECAUSE OF THAT ENVIRONMENT THAT YOU COME FROMAND THERE IS A CONNECTION THAT HAPPENS.

SHE JUST TOLD THAT STORYBEFORE WE CAME IN HERE ABOUT HER GOING TO RUSSIA AND THATCONNECTION.

>> I KNOW YOU JUST CAME BACKFROM RUSSIA.

TELL ME ABOUT THAT.

REAL QUICK.

>> SO I DO WHAT IS CALLEDCULINARY DIPLOMACY, DIPLOMACY THROUGH FOOD, AND WE DID SHIPMANY INGREDIENTS FROM HERE FOR THE RUSSIANS.

THEY HAD WHITE CORN BREAD FROMSANTA ANA PUEBLO AND BLUE CORN BREAD AND BLUE CORN POSOLE,WHITE CORN POSOLE, TAMALE.

WE HAD TO TEACH THEM NOT TOEAT THE OUTSIDE, THE CORN HUSK BUT I THINK THE BIGGESTMESSAGE — THERE IS TWO SORT OF THEMES THAT COME UP.

ONE, FOOD IS A UNIVERSALLANGUAGE.

WE ARE ALL INDIGENOUS TOSOMEWHERE AND AS THEY TASTED THE FOOD, ONE OF THEM WAS THEBOILED BERRIES AND BOILED IN THE PECTIN AND THE BERRIESMAKES IT ALMOST GELATINOUS AND HARDENS.

AND ONE OF THE YOUNG STUDENTSSAID MY GRANDMA COULD HAVE MADE IT BUT WE WOULD HAVESERVED IT WITH SOUR CREAM, SO THERE IS DEFINITELY A DAIRYCULTURE.

THE MESSAGE IS WHAT DID YOURGRANDMOTHER MAKE AND WHAT DID SHE NOURISH YOU WITH AND HOWDO YOU RECLAIM THAT? WHEN SOMEONE GOES TO A PLACE,AND ROXANNE IS RIGHT, PLACE INSTEAD OF TRYING TO EATANOTHER WORLD CUISINE OR ANOTHER CULTURE'S CUISINE,WHAT IS YOUR CUISINE? WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DID YOURANCESTORS COOK AND I KNOW WHEN I TRAVEL THAT IS WHAT I WANTTO EAT.

PEOPLE COME TO NEW MEXICO FORTHE CULTURAL EXPERIENCE AND THEY WANT TO EAT THE FOODS OFTHIS PLACE.

WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO EAT AMARYLAND CRAB CAKE IN NEW MEXICO? YOU WANT TO GO TO MARYLAND TOEAT THAT, SO HERE WHAT DO WE HAVE AND WHAT CAN WE SHARETHAT IS INHERENTLY INDIGENOUS AND PEOPLE WANT THAT.

PEOPLE ARE READY FOR THE FIRSTTIME IN HISTORY.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FORCOMING AND TALKING.

IT HAS BEEN GREAT.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

>> APPRECIATE IT.

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