Anyone hungry for biscuits and bison?
When most people think of food culture, they think of the American South, maybe, or France, Italy and elsewhere in Europe. They don’t think of that great sweep of prairie west of the Mississippi River known as the Great Plains. Well, Jane Marshall of Kansas State University is out to change that. She’s created the Great Plains Foodways Connection and recently launched a web site celebrating the region’s deep-rooted culinary history, encompassing everything from biscuits to bison.
The Great Plains gave rise to the chuck wagon, Fred Harvey and Clementine Paddleford, but part of Marshall’s challenge is that most folks who settled Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and parts of Canada didn’t think of what they ate in terms of “culture.” It was just food. Family recipes were handed down, sometimes there were cookbooks, often there weren’t. That’s why an important part of the project involves collecting heritage recipes and stories about the cooks who served them up, and then posting them on the site. There’s also a list of regional food-related events, profiles of food personalities and opportunities to add your own stories. Who knew history could be so delicious?
(Photo by Jane P. Marshall)