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Some known dishes
Native South American
Hunted or livestock

Native American Cuisine
Native American Cuisine

Native American cuisine includes all food practices of the native peoples of the Americas . Information about Native American cuisine comes from a great variety of sources. Modern day native peoples retain a rich body of traditional foods, some of which have become iconic of present-day Native American social gatherings (for example, frybread). Foods like cornbread are known to have been adopted into the cuisine of the United States from Native American groups. In other cases, documents from the early periods of contact with European, African, and Asian peoples allow the recovery of food practices which passed out of popularity in the historic period (for example, Black Drink). Archaeological techniques, particularly in the subdisciplines of zooarchaeology and paleoethnobotany, have allowed for the understanding of other culinary practices or preferred foods which did not survive into the written historic record.

Native American cuisine of the United States
The native cuisine of the Native Americans of the United States :

American Indians of the Eastern Woodlands planted what was known as the "Three Sisters": corn, beans, and squash.

In addition, a number of other domesticated crops were popular during some time periods in the Eastern Woodlands, including a local version of quinoa, a variety of amaranth, sumpweed/marsh elder, little barley, maygrass, and sunflower.


Some known dishes

  • Corn bread
  • Fry bread is a dish made from ingredients distributed to Native Americans living on reservations.
  • Succotash, a trio of lima beans, tomatoes and corn
  • Pemmican
  • Bird brain stew, from the Cree tribe
  • Buffalo stew, from the Cherokee Nation also called Tanka-me-a-lo
  • Acorn mush, from the Miwok people

Native American cuisine of Meso-America
The pre-conquest cuisine of the Native Americans of Meso-America made a major contribution to shaping modern-day Mexican cuisine. The cultures involved included the Aztec, Maya, Olmec, and many more (see the List_of_pre-Columbian_civilizations).

  • Some known dishes
  • Tamales
  • Tlacoyos
  • Pozole
  • Mole
  • Mezcal
  • Tortillas
  • Champurrado, a chocolate drink
  • Pejelagarto, a fish with an aligator-like head seasoned with the amashito chile and lime [5]
  • Pulque


Native American cuisine of South America
This currently includes recipes known from the Inca and Nazca of Peru.

  • Grilled guinea pig, a native to most of the Andes region this small rodent has been culivated for at least 4000 years
  • Fried green tomatoes, a nightshade relative native to Peru
  • Saraiaka or Chicha, a corn liquor
  • Quinoa Porridge, which would sometimes be flavored with cocoa
  • Ch'arki, a type of dried meat

Crops and ingredients
Maize, beans and squash were known as the three sisters for their symbiotic relationship when grown together by the North American and Meso-American natives. If the South Americans had similar methods of what is known as companion planting it is lost to us today.


  • Maize Throughout the Americas, probably domesticated in or near Mexico .
  • Beans Throughout the Americas .
  • Squash Throughout the Americas .
  • Sweet potato
  • Potato South American
  • Tomato
  • Kiwacha
  • Maca
  • Coca South and Central America .
  • quinoa South America , Central America , and Eastern North America .
  • amaranth
  • tobacco
  • cassava Primarily South America.
  • chile peppers
  • bell peppers


Hunted or livestock

  • Horse The only animal on the list introduced by Europeans, the horse was still very important to Native American cultures throughout the Americas (although famously on the North American Plains) in the historic era.
  • Squirrel Many groups had no cultural stigma against the consumption of small mammals such as squirrels.
  • Guinea pig Domesticated in the Andes .
  • Bison A centrally important wild food and modern livestock animal.
  • Llama Domesticated in the Andes .
  • Turkey Domesticated at least once in Mexico .
  • Sloth, extinct
  • Wooly mammoth, extinct



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