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Wallach, Chapter 1, "The Cuisines of Contact"

  • Note from intro: think about what's at stake for a Pilgrim in choosing what to eat or not eat. "humourial eating" -- food affects character.
  • Thanksgiving 1621
  • [By the way, who plans to arrive on Cape Cod in November from a three month journey without a lot of food?]
  • Thanksgiving, 1621, "Puritans" and Wampanoag Indians. Description of Mayflower diet and transit. ship's biscuits, scurvy.
  • Pilgrims steal Indian corn, claiming it was sent by God, but also repaying the Indians later.
  • 40 of 102 voyagers died the first winter.
  • Encounter with Tisquantum. (His story also told in "1491".) 5: Indian planting methods "three sisters", fish fertilizer
  • 6: There was actually a feast in 1621, with a partial account surviving. 90 Native Americans.
  • Thanksgiving meals were ordinary rituals, not annual commemorations. Really, thanks to god, not the Native Americans. Not clear how much these were intercultural events in general.
  • "Thanksgiving" doesn't become a national holiday until the late 19th century, and even then not explicitly connected to Pilgrim event until a few years later. Later used to promote assimilation 7. (Food/identity) Traditional foods of Thanksgiving shaped in Victorian period.
  • 1636 war with Pequot might was food related. Horrible. 7-8 might have been part "famine war".
  • Thesis at p. 10 read. Fantasy part is to think the colonist enjoyed their native feast. Likely not.
  • Early Modern ideas of food and diet, corn
  • Brits diet ideas: Galen rules until modern chemistry: four humours, food and character (11) diet and psychology together (which, given the microbiota research, isn't crazy). But crazy to think wine fortifies blood, eating an animal you take on its character. "Humoral eating" Fish reduces carnal desire. Don't eat too many rabbits or you'll scare easily!
  • Note discussion at p. 12: Humble british diet pretty unappealing. Note class markers still present today: variety, high trophic eating (meat), fresh greens... Humble cuisines had pottages, stew pots...
  • Pilgrims regarded Native diet as subhuman. Iroquois for corn "our life" "our mother" - read at p. 17: Pilgrims wary of choosing corn because of it's association with Indian identity, doubted its nutritious properties. wheat and fungus. not easily in early modern New England. Tried to "eat savage food in a civilized way" 18 Resistance to corn partly cultural. Disdain in sharing "culinary cosmos".
  • Culinary Encounters at Jamestown 1607-09 (19)
  • a commercial venture, near complex Indian confederations, Indians fed colonists, but colonists also raided villages and murdered Indians. Powhatan decides to stop helping, 1609 winter of starvation (and cannibalism) 22. native diet 23 -(read, it would be challenging), told from a captive's (Mary Rowlandson) report. 23 read. settlers had trouble foraging, seemed uncivilized. not used to lean times.
  • Fasting and Feeding in the City on a Hill 1640s
  • Following the Mayflower, the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized arrival of 16,000 by 1640s. "City on a Hill" saw morality of community related to food security. really a kind of theocracy. food pests, crop failures might be consequence of fornication. communal fasting. fasts more typical than feasts due to concern about gluttony 26: simplicity of Puritan diet in part a rejection of perceived upper class English gluttony. Note that Puritans had more extreme views about "virtuous/spiritual eating" than Pilgrims. (p. 27 - use of "humoral eating" theory to quell those desires and promote spiritual purity.) As Puritans became wealthier that incorporated large amounts of boiled meats into their diets. [In many ways, Barber's "1st plate" is a legacy of rich Puritans!]
  • "The Puritans were remarkably ambivalent about food (cf. other food cultures). They were fearful of both abundance and scarcity.