The earliest local flavours: griding corn

The earliest local flavours

Some of the foods consumed by the Aboriginal peoples became part of the daily diets of the French settlers and, even today, remain important elements of Québec cuisine: maple syrup, corn, squash, broad beans and a variety of game and fish.

The Iroquois were a nation of horticulturists and cultivated the three sisters: corn, beans and squash. The Algonquins were mainly hunter-gatherers who collected food such as game, fish and berries during their seasonal travels across the territory. Corn flour served as an important currency for the groups.

The Aboriginal peoples prepared food by drying it, smoking it, grilling it over a fire or simmering it on embers in bark or clay pots and seasoning it with berries or dried fish. They drank water, teas made from various plants and maple sap. Food sharing and community feasts were very important to the First Nations and remain so today.

Five sturgeon hooks - Omushkego, Swampy Cree (Algonquin). Sturgeon hooks
One bow and three arrows - Inuit, Nunavik. Bow and arrows
Squared maple sap basket - Lena Nottaway, Anishinabeg (Algonquin). Maple sap
Corn sheller made from tine - Tonawanda (Iroquois). Inventive utensils
Wood mortar and pestle - Kanien:keha’ka, Mohawk (Iroquois). Grinding corn
Print showing two persons grinding corn. Medium of exchange