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Native American Culture and Chesapeake Cookery

Native American Culture and Chesapeake Cookery

Courtesy of The New York Public Library, Circa 1890

Courtesy of The New York Public Library, Circa 1890

Arthur Barlowe participated in the 1584 English exploration of the Chesapeake region of Virginia. He and other members of the expedition attended a feast at Chief Wingina’s village on Roanoke Island. Like many West and Central African societies, Native Americans in the Chesapeake region ate largely a vegetarian diet and used fish and especially venison as seasoning in one pot meals. However, on special occasions, like the arrival of honored guest, meat and or fish would be gorged on. Barlowes guest of honor meal included prepared root vegetables, fruit, grape wine, and a “fish, broiled on the coales [sic], much like white Salmon . . . .”

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