Original LocalOriginal Local
Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest

Heid E. Erdrich

In the media:

NPR’s Tell Me More

Star Tribune Taste

Native America Calling (12/30/13 show)

MPR Appetites with Tom Crann

Off the Menu on WCCO with Dara Moskowitz-Grumdahl (12/14/13 show)

WPR Joan Cardin Show

KUMD MN Reads/Northland Morning

Debbie Reeses’s blog: American Indians in Children’s Literature


The Heavy Table

Indian Country Today

The Mix

Indigenous Food Revolutionary blog


Black and Blue Bison Stew with Tea-infused Biscuits

Pumpkin Bangs with Maple Sugar and Spice Sprinkle

A celebration of intensely local foods on a spectrum spanning traditional American Indian treatments and creative contemporary fusion.

Local foods have garnered much attention in recent years, but the concept is hardly new: indigenous peoples have always made the most of nature’s gifts. Their menus were truly the “original local,” celebrated here in 135 home-tested recipes paired with stories from tribal activists, food researchers, families, and chefs.

A chapter devoted to wild rice makes clear the crucial role manoomin plays in Native cultures. Similar attention is lavished on the tallest of the Three Sisters: mandamin, or corn. The bounty of the region’s lakes and streams—walleye, whitefish, and more—inspire flavorful combinations and fierce protection of resources. Health concerns have encouraged Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota cooks to return to, and revise, recipes for bison, venison, and wild game. Sections on vegetables and beans, herbs and tea, and maple and berries offer insight from a broad representation of regional tribes, including Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Potawatomi, and Mandan gardeners and harvesters.

The innovative recipes collected here—from Maple Baked Cranberry Beans to Three Sisters Salsa, from Manoomin Lasagna to Black and Blue Bison Stew—will inspire home cooks not only to make better use of the foods all around them but also to honor the storied heritage they represent.

Advance Praise:

“In this remarkable cookbook, Heid Erdrich shares her deep knowledge of indigenous foods and original recipes that make me want to read and learn as well as cook.”

Beth Dooley, author of Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook

“Mino-wiisini! Eat well! I remember my Ojibwe grandmother’s words around the table when I dig into this inspiring feast of a book.”

Brenda Child, author of Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of the Community and Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900–1940

“All too often the great foods native to the Midwest are shoved aside as mere novelties or decorations. How refreshing to see in Original Local these truly American crops take their rightful place as the centerpiece in a wonderful cuisine.”

Samuel Thayer, author of The Forager’s Harvest and Nature’s Garden

Heid E. Erdrich, author of five books of poetry and coeditor of Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community, teaches writing, performs her work broadly, and gives lectures on American Indian art, language, and literature. Follow her on Twitter @HeidErdrich

Available November 2013 from Minnesota Historical Society Press

$19.95 paper, 224 pages, 7 1/2 x 9, 30 b&w photographs and illustrations, 135 recipes, index, appendix, bibliography, ISBN: 978-0-87351-894-9

Pre-order on amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, and Birchbark Books