Period Foods from Our Past

Legion Para

Retired Moderator
Jul 12, 2015
While the forum is filled with many period recipes, we sometime forget that some Americans still lived off the land. Not everyone has forgotten these foods.


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Apr 3, 2018
Nifty video.

I always wonder what percentage of the pioneers actually did line or fly fishing. Going on the first hand stuff I've read, nets seemed much more common (although they're outlawed most places nowadays). Fly fishing was certainly around (there were American editions of Isaak Walton's The Compleat Angler by the mid-1800s, if not earlier), but it wasn't the most practical way of getting fish most places.

That turnip ragout sounds terrific!

I expected him to mention that Benjamin Franklin thought the turkey would be the better choice for a national bird:

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.
With all this injustice, he is never in good case but like those among men who live by sharping & robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our country…
“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

When I was a kid, I thought Franklin was crazy -- but Wild Turkeys are very different critters from the modern domesticated nitwits who can be too dumb to come in out of the rain. Probably just as well Franklin didn't get his way, though...

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