Thanksgiving is the time of year to reflect on our past and pay homage to the pioneers that paved the way for our future—American Indians. American Indians have a storied history and shaped America’s culture, especially our culinary heritage. Thanks to American Indians, the Pilgrims learned how to grow crops, hunt, fish and ultimately maintain sustainable villages.
We have learned many lessons from American Indians over the centuries. Some may say that we owe our independence to American Indians because without them, the Pilgrims would not have had enough resources to survive on their own. It is their deep-rooted culinary history that we can appreciate most of all. American Indians, to this day, have a spiritual connection to the land and do not waste resources.
The Indigenous people were the first to cultivate corn, growing over 200 types of
maize. Corn, beans and squash, the “three sisters,” were the three staples of
their diets. This food trio is unique because they are interdependent. Beans
grow up the corn stalks and add the nutrients (nitrogen) to the soil. Squash is
planted in between the corn to keep weeds out.
The American Indians certainly knew how to live off the land and today, we can
appreciate their innovation, leadership and discoveries.
Happy Thanksgiving from Butler’s Pantry. Respect the pioneers of the past and show gratitude for advances in culinary practices.