Paper pub. date
January 2006
ISBN 9780977933204 (paperback)
7 x 8.5 inches, 76 pages. B&W photographs. Maps. Resource List.

Renewing Salmon Nation's Food Traditions

Gary Paul Nabhan
A RAFT/Ecotrust Book.

Among all the "food nations" of North America, ranging from Clambake Nation to Chile Pepper Nation, Salmon Nation is the richest in mushrooms, berries, wild roots, fish, and shellfish. Native American traditions are at its core, but other culinary accents — from Spanish to Japanese — have added to the mix. A project of the Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) consortium, this book describes over 180 species of local plants and animals — many now at risk, others recovering, and all deserving of recognition — that have formed the basis of food traditions in the Pacific Northwest.

To identify the traditional foods of Salmon Nation, RAFT brought together farmers, chefs, fisherfolk, food historians, orchardists, ethnobotanists, conservation activists, nutrition educators, and wild foragers in an unprecedented effort to assess the current state of foods unique to the Pacific Northwest. The result is, for the first ever, a comprehensive list of the foods that have nurtured the cultures of Salmon Nation over the centuries.

Renewing Salmon Nation's Food Traditions encourages readers and eaters to familiarize themselves with the rich histories, ecologies, and recipes of these local foods. This beautifully illustrated handbook describes the appearance and taste of each species, as well as its origin and history, geographic range, and culinary uses. Foods on the list range from domesticated crops such as the Bing cherry, Hood strawberry, and Nez Perce bean to sea foods such as Chinook salmon, candlefish smelt, and geoduck, and wild foods such as Oregon black truffle, wapato, and blackcap raspberry. A resource list at the back of the book identifies nurseries, seed companies, and suppliers working to safeguard and revitalize the heritage foods of Salmon Nation.

About the author

Gary Nabhan founded RAFT and is the director of the Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University. He is the author and editor of more than 20 books, including Why Some Like It Hot, Coming Home to Eat, and Gathering the Desert.

RAFT is a consortium of six non-profit sustainable agriculture, cultural conservation, and culinary organizations seeking to identify, document, celebrate, conserve, and restore to our tables the unique foods of North America and the folk traditions associated with them.

Ecotrust is a conservation organization committed to strengthening communities and the environment from Alaska to California. It works with native peoples and in the fisheries, forestry, and farming sectors to build a regional economy that is based on social and ecological opportunities.

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