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The Mitsitam Café Cookbook: Recipes from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

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The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook, published in association with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, showcases the Americas’ indigenous foods in 90 easy-to-follow, home-tested recipes. Author and Mitsitam Cafe chef Richard Hetzler spent years researching Native American dishes and food practices for this stunning cookbook. Includes full-color ima The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook, published in association with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, showcases the Americas’ indigenous foods in 90 easy-to-follow, home-tested recipes. Author and Mitsitam Cafe chef Richard Hetzler spent years researching Native American dishes and food practices for this stunning cookbook. Includes full-color images of the dishes and of objects from the museum’s collection.


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The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook, published in association with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, showcases the Americas’ indigenous foods in 90 easy-to-follow, home-tested recipes. Author and Mitsitam Cafe chef Richard Hetzler spent years researching Native American dishes and food practices for this stunning cookbook. Includes full-color ima The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook, published in association with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, showcases the Americas’ indigenous foods in 90 easy-to-follow, home-tested recipes. Author and Mitsitam Cafe chef Richard Hetzler spent years researching Native American dishes and food practices for this stunning cookbook. Includes full-color images of the dishes and of objects from the museum’s collection.

30 review for The Mitsitam Café Cookbook: Recipes from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shala Kerrigan

    The Mitsitam Cafe offers Native foods from both North and South America, offering education about preparation methods along with meals. This cookbook has recipes that are used in the cafe. There are a lot of recipes in this book. If you have an interest in regional cooking, Native culture or cooking in season, this has recipes for you. The recipes all have side bars offering you a bit of information about either the inspiration for the recipe or the way the foods were eaten traditionally by diffe The Mitsitam Cafe offers Native foods from both North and South America, offering education about preparation methods along with meals. This cookbook has recipes that are used in the cafe. There are a lot of recipes in this book. If you have an interest in regional cooking, Native culture or cooking in season, this has recipes for you. The recipes all have side bars offering you a bit of information about either the inspiration for the recipe or the way the foods were eaten traditionally by different regions and nations. One of the things that impressed me most about this book is the range of recipes, there are recipes for things like a buffalo chili that even a very conservative eater might be willing to try, or if you're more adventurous, juniper cured salmon. A lot of the recipes can be used by vegans as well. Last night I served the refried beans (made with a vegetable oil) and a roasted pepper salsa to my family for dinner. Both were enthusiastically received by my teens and husband who didn't even seem to miss having meat with dinner. My daughter was thrilled and excited by the dessert recipes. She thinks corn and chocolate tamales are just a brilliant idea. I love the Cranberry Crumble and other berry based recipes. A good selection of salad, appetizer and main course recipes makes this a wonderful cookbook. The recipes are all well explained and easy to follow. There are some techniques like salt curing that some home cooks may not have tried yet, but the language is easy to follow. You expect gorgeous food photos in a cookbook, and there are some delicious photos of food, there are also some great photographs of native art and people. This one gets a place of honor on my shelf of cookbooks, I have bookmarks in for the next recipes I want to try out of it. My only quibble is a minor one given how much I do like this cookbook, I wish there were more recipes from Alaska represented. However some of the ingredients used in traditional cooking up here can be extremely hard to find anywhere else.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Juli Anna

    I saved a few decent-looking recipes from this book, which I have not yet tried, but this cookbook doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. Most of the ingredients take their inspiration from truly "American" foods (cranberries, bison, tomatoes, corn, peppers, etc.), but there is a decidedly Westernized bent to the recipes themselves. Some of them look yummy, but have nothing to do with American foods (fennel salad with fig vinaigrette?), and others are problematic "interpretations" of native d I saved a few decent-looking recipes from this book, which I have not yet tried, but this cookbook doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. Most of the ingredients take their inspiration from truly "American" foods (cranberries, bison, tomatoes, corn, peppers, etc.), but there is a decidedly Westernized bent to the recipes themselves. Some of them look yummy, but have nothing to do with American foods (fennel salad with fig vinaigrette?), and others are problematic "interpretations" of native diets (Indian Pudding and fry bread, to name two). Overall, it is difficult to say whether this cookbook wants to be an American Indian cookbook, a pioneer cookbook, or a museum cafe cookbook.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Rodrigues

    This is the kind of cookbook that you buy and put on display and proudly cook the recipes from in front of your new friends who you're trying to convince that you're cultured and sophisticated. It just looks elegant. I imagine myself cooking these recipes while watching a Great Courses DVD I rented from the library. It's okay to be that person, sometimes. Honestly, though, this is an excellently designed cookbook, well-organized, with just enough introduction to the recipes to give you a bit of r This is the kind of cookbook that you buy and put on display and proudly cook the recipes from in front of your new friends who you're trying to convince that you're cultured and sophisticated. It just looks elegant. I imagine myself cooking these recipes while watching a Great Courses DVD I rented from the library. It's okay to be that person, sometimes. Honestly, though, this is an excellently designed cookbook, well-organized, with just enough introduction to the recipes to give you a bit of reference but without causing your eyes to glaze over. Reading it is an educational experience. There are recipes for any kind of meal. There's a delicate and elegant "fiddlehead fern salad" that looks fancy as all get-out (see the cover image) and would most certainly impress your in-laws at a fancy luncheon, and there's a great recipe for frybread tacos that you would binge-eat with your cousins at a cookout. The section of sauces and salsas will find a lot of use for typical American eaters. (At least for me, anyway, a person who looks for excuses to cover something in hot salsa.) Most recipes are pretty make-able; you will find an occasional where-the-heck-can-I-find-that ingredient. (Juniper berries? I don't even know where to look.) This book also fills an important hole in collection development for libraries and collectors. I have lived in the US my entire life and have no familiarity with Native foods other than frybread and what is sold in Mexican restaurants. Everyone eats; shared culture via food is important to learn and to remember.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bookish

    Beautiful photographs and historical tidbits make for interesting reading. Most home chefs would have to visit specialty markets to find ingredients for some of the recipes, though. If you're adept at substitution or enjoy shopping for unusual stuff, this might be a nice addition to your cookbook shelves.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    This is a lovely cookbook with a blend of colorful photographs of prepared foods and native cultural artifacts sprinkled amongst the recipes and historical tidbits of foodstuff. All of the recipes sound delectable but I have on tap to try out the classic Fry Bread, and its variation of Red Onion and Herb Fry Bread, as well as the Hazelnut and Honey-Roasted Acorn Squash, and the Corn and Chocolate Tamales.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    I enjoy some of the recipes here, like the salmon cakes, but so many of the recipes employ ingredients that have to be specially sourced (there's a chapter on where to find these less traditional ingredients) that this is more of a special occasion cookbook than an everyday use one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I can only give 4 stars because as of now I have not yet cooked a recipe from it on the other hand information is wonderful and really points out just how much the food of the Americas changed the world but also the cultures it came from.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Too upscale to be useful, but interesting to read. Beautiful pictures. I was not expecting the emphasis on native Americans from Latin America.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    It is a great book to read

  10. 4 out of 5

    Noreen O'Connor

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lily

  12. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy Weston

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kim Lewandowski

  15. 5 out of 5

    Johns

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Hinton-Ridling

  17. 4 out of 5

    Denice

  18. 5 out of 5

    Judi

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Stinson

  20. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Murphy

  21. 5 out of 5

    Violet

  22. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  23. 5 out of 5

    Janice Mullen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carlene

  26. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  28. 4 out of 5

    Addie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Babygirl

  30. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

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