Cherokee food - what Cherokee people ate, and how they cooked it. answers questions

Cherokee Food

corn on the cob
Corn on the cob

August 2016 - People who lived in the Cherokee nation were mostly farmers. They ate mainly corn and beans and squash (the "Three Sisters") that they grew in their fields. They made the corn into flat breads like tacos and tortillas and they made the beans into refried beans, soups and stews. They also made popcorn for special treats! Cherokee people also grew and ate a lot of sweet potatoes and peanuts.

drawing of men broiling fish
Broiling fish

Cherokee people also ate a lot of meat, especially deer and rabbits and turkey, and a lot of fish and turtles. It's possible that they were raising tame turkeys by about 1200 AD. Cherokee people did not live entirely from farming and hunting like the Mississippians to their west, though - Cherokee people kept on getting a lot of their food from gathering as well. They gathered shellfish, because they lived near the coast, but also blueberries, blackberries, and wild onions. This is probably mainly because of differences in the environment.

Learn by doing: making succotash
American food after the Europeans invaded

Bibliography and further reading about Cherokee food:

More about the Cherokee
More about Native American Food
Native Americans home

Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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