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Cooking (and Contemplating) New England

A Very Good Breade Made of Indian Corne

Colonial New England's Daily Bread


In our last post, Growing Grains and Ingrained Ideas in Colonial New England, we stressed that New England's first English settlers were embarrassed by their dependence for survival on the principal cereal grain of the region's Indigenous people. Sending word back to England about how successful their settlements were, they adopted diverse, even conflicting, strategies in talking about the grain they called "Indian Corne" or simply "Indian." (See the last post for an explanation of these and other corn-related terms and how we're using them.) Edward Johnson, in his 1654 book Wonder-Working Providence, admitted that at first the colonists had been forced to get along on "Indian Bread and water." But now, a quarter century in, they had reached a point where "good white and wheaten bread is no dainty," implying (untruthfully, in fact) that they were no longer eating Indian Bread. 

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