Synopses & Reviews
The culinary traditions of the native peoples of the Americas are celebrated in this lavish book produced in association with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Written by chef Fernando Divina and Marlene Divina, who is of Chippewa heritage, FOODS OF THE AMERICAS presents 140 modern recipes that incorporate a wide array of foods cultivated by native people throughout North and South America. The book also includes nine illustrated short essays by native writers that provide an American Indian perspective on a variety of indigenous food traditions. Illustrated with food photographs as well as images from the museum's vast collections, the book is being published to coincide with the opening of the museum's flagship site on the National Mall on September 21, 2004.A comprehensive, illustrated cookbook with 140 recipes dedicated to the native ingredients and traditions of the Americas. Includes 24 full-color food photographs and 30 images from the Smithsonian collections.
2005 James Beard Cookbook of the YearReviews“This very important book will open the reader's mind to the culinary wisdom and ingenuity of the Native peoples of the Americas. Then it will open the reader's mouth to an enticing world of new flavors, which are in fact ancient and indigenous.” —Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets
"From potted smoked salmon of the Pacific Northwest to Peruvian ceviche, Brazilian cozido and Hawaiian poke, this book tries to cover over 3,000 miles of indigenous food traditions. But while the geographical scope of the book makes it fascinating to browse, it also limits readers' ability to actually cook several of the recipes without extensive use of mail-ordered ingredients: where fresh cattails are available for Cattail Cakes, limu kohu (a popular Hawaiian seaweed used in Poke Aku) will likely not be. And a wild food guide would be essential to recreate many of the recipes that require foraging for ingredients. Occasionally, helpful substitutions are provided: fennel seed instead of licorice fern in Venison with Juniper and Wild Huckleberry Sauce or rosemary rather than pine needles for Coos-Style Grilled Squab. A few delicious berry and fruit recipes (Fresh Berry Leather, Raw Fresh Berry Jam, Huckleberry Sorbet, Wild Grape Dumplings, etc.) provide multiple substitutions for local berries and are simple to prepare. And though they took three times the water listed in the recipe to make, Wild Mustard Seed and Allium Crackers are quick, spicy and addictive. A long essay, 'Reservation Foods,' by George P. Horse Capture illuminates the adaptability of traditional cuisines to modern kitchens: his memories of childhood favorites include both scrambled powdered eggs and lard rolled in pemmican. Many of the book's other essays focus on individual foods-maple syrup, corn, berries-but are too short to provide more than a glimpse of modern culture. But for all its flaws, this book serves as a fine introduction to a much larger project: the influence of native cooking on the modern culinary traditions." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A comprehensive, illustrated cookbook with 140 recipes dedicated to the native ingredients and traditions of the Americas.
About the Author
FERNANDO DIVINA has been the executive chef at several acclaimed restaurants. Together with his wife, MARLENE, he owns Divina Restaurant Concepts, which since 1989 has provided restaurant planning services and menu guidelines for a wide array of clients—most notably the National Museum of the American Indian’s Mitsitam Café. The Divinas’ articles and photography have appeared in such publications as The Oregonian, Northwest Indian Magazine, and Arizona Food and Lifestyles Magazine. The Divinas and their son, Zoey, are based in Arizona.