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Sample "Pre-Contact" Native American Food at Sioux Chef Pop-Up, February 6-7

A salad of squash, corn, Great Northern beans, dandelion shoots, blueberries, and flower petals is an example of Sean Sherman's "pre-contact" cooking.

A salad of squash, corn, Great Northern beans, dandelion shoots, blueberries, and flower petals is an example of Sean Sherman's "pre-contact" cooking.

The notion that the American diet, as a general whole, is as screwed up as a pile of corkscrews is nothing new. And the average American knows as much about Native American history as Columbus did when he set sail on the ocean blue, much less about Native cuisine.

So what was pre-contact Native American food really like, aside from what you think you might know about the Thanksgiving table?

Sean Sherman, a.k.a. the "Sioux Chef," is here to try to shed some light.

See also: The Sioux Chef Dishes on Minnesota's First "Pre-Contact" Restaurant

Sherman is a longtime cook who turned to "pre-reservation" cuisine in recent years. He says his studies have taken him to the Crow tribes of the Bighorn and Beartooth Mountain Ranges in Wyoming and Montana, to his native Lakota plains in the Dakotas, and to the Ojibwe and Dakota forests and lake region throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.

He says he's been able to source locally and organically, using regional, Native-run businesses.

On February 6-7, you will be able to taste for yourself, when Sherman takes over the Aster River Room for a five-course indigenous-ingredients-driven dinner, held alongside performances by a Native American storyteller, poet, and musicians.

According to the press materials:

"Participants will come away feeling a renewed and profound respect for the earth and the important role indigenous ancestral stewards played in the health of their people and the land they depended upon. They will become steeped in how this knowledge, love, and understanding of the earth is driving the movement in modern Native American food culture today."

Maybe. But this knowledge, love, and understanding comes at a price: $90 per person, cocktails for purchase at the cash bar (tea will be served with dinner).

The menu:

maštíŋčala (rabbit) dehydrated rabbit - honey hominy cake - toasted walnut - berry jus - wilted dandelion

omníča (white bean) stewed white bean - cedar broth - seared smoked whitefish - sorrel

ptéȟčaka (buffulo ribs) buffalo ribs - wasna cake of dried berries - puffed wild rice - sweet potatoes - watercress blooms

maǧáksiča (smoked duck) smoked duck - dried blueberry - amaranth cracker - blueberry jus - crisp - amaranth leaf - maple - pepitas

wagmú (squash) squash puree - maple sun seed - cranberry - mountain mint

Purchase tickets here.

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