Corn Dance: Inspired First American Cuisine
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At Corn Dance Cafe in Santa Fe, New Mexico Loretta Barrett Oden focused on indigenous ingredients, drawing on a wide range of Native traditions that include her Potawatomi citizenship. Her food does not seek a return to times before European contact, but it asserts the appeal and value of overlooked ingredients.
Appealingly photographed, Corn Dance demonstrates a wide grasp of world culinary traditions, even as it reinterprets them with North American foodstuffs. The legendary Three Sisters (corn, beans, and squash) are dressed with a sage pesto. An iceberg lettuce wedge is topped with two dressings: tomato-sumac and a lime-corn vinaigrette. Smoked oysters are served atop herby potato cakes. Foraged persimmons flavor a vibrant tea bread.
This is a very welcome addition to a growing body of work that confidently explores Indigenous traditions with both respect and imagination.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.