Colonial Food And Cooking

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by TOtto
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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Colonial Food And Cooking

IMPACT OF NATIVE AMERICANSThe Native Americans grew corn along the eastern coast of North America long before the colonists arrived. The Native Americans depended on corn to survive and ate it at every meal. Corn was introduced to the colonists by Squanto, first a Pauxet and then a Wampanoag tribesman. Squanto taught the New England settlers planting methods for corn and other vegetables, and to bury dead fish as a fertizler when planting. Native Americans introduced the colonists to corn on the cob, popcorn, and hominy, a thin corn soup made from the meat of the kernal. Colonists ate a dish from corn at every meal. They served it in main dishes and added it to desserts!Colonists even used corn for more than cooking. They often paid their taxes with it instead of money. Massachusetts colonists used corn and beans to vote! A kernel of corn was a "yes" vote and a bean was a "no" vote. The power of corn.... :) text here

BEHAVIOR OF CHILDREN:The rules were very different from today. Colonial families were not child-friendly! What is interesting is the concept of the "children's table." This practice likely descends from wealthier English families who engaged nannies. Today some American families still practice the "children's table" for major holiday meals. RULES FOR THE CHILDREN WHEN EATING:"Never sit down at the table till asked, and after the blessing. Ask for nothing; tarry till it be offered thee. Speak not. Bite not thy bread but break it. Take salt only with a clean knife. Dip not the meat in the same. Hold not thy knife upright but sloping, and lay it down at right hand of plate with blade on plate. Look not earnestly at any other that is eating. When moderately satisfied leave the table. Sing not, hum not, wriggle not. Spit no where in the room but in the corner.'Eat not too fast nor the Greedy Behavior. Eat not vastly but moderately. Make not a noise with thy Tongue, Mouth, Lips, or Breath in Thy Eating and Drinking. Smell not of thy Meat; nor put it to Thy Nose; turn it not the other side upward on Thy Plate."In many households in the new world children could not be seated at the table, even after the blessing had been asked. They stood through the entire mea! Ouch!


NEW ENGLAND COLONIES:The colonies of New England had a short growing season and long, cold winters!These settlers brought cattle, chickens, hogs, and fruit trees to the colonies. These colonists learned to make bread, stews, puddings, and jams from native plants, including corn, squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and beans. Tomatoes were native plants too, but many feared they were poisonous and refused to eat them! New Englanders favored a plain style of cooking, leaning toward simple foods with little seasoning, which matched their simple, Puritan beliefs and life style.These colonists also found an abundance of cod in the waters off of New England. They soon mixed the cod with cornmeal to make codfish cakes!Many of the foods today considered typical New Enlgand actually came from the Native Americans. They introduced these colonists to turkey, baked pumpkins, and cranberry sauce... ie: THANKSGIVING!

MIDDLE AND SOUTHERN COLONIES:The middle colonies had a long growing season and rich soil that produced a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, These colonists planted pea, pear and apple seeds they had brought from Europe. They were also able to grow wheat, rye, and other grains, and thus became know as the "Bread Basket" because they supplied the northern and southern colonies with grain for bread and biscuits.Some southern colonists owned large plantations and grew tobacco, rice, and indigo. These colonists produced crops for trading, and ships from the West Indies and England sailed in and out of southern ports. The Quakers who settled New Jersey and Pennsylania also preferred plain food. They used boiling to prepare dumplings and puddings, their specialty. The planters of Virginia and the Carolinas, however, enjoyed the most elaborate meals of the Colonies. They ate roast meat and fowl, wheat bread, baked desserts, and imported wine and fruits. Meals such as this were considered signs of wealth and status. The poor people of the south, like all poor people in the colonies, ate boiled, preserved meat, cooked with dired peas or beans, onions, parsnips, turnip greens, and wild herbs. They ate locally grown sweet potatoes and served chicken as an occasional treat. Southerners generally added more salt, herbs, and other seasonings to their food than did people of the nothern colonies.


  • osheen 6 years ago

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