Native American Foods for an Arizona Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving in Arizona wouldn’t be complete without the foods grown in this region for generations. Just like other Native Americans in the Southwest, the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe often refers to the combination of corn, beans, and squash as ‘The Three Sisters.’
Growing Native American Food in the Desert
To combat the blistering rays of the Arizona sun, ‘the Three Sisters’ were grown in combination so each one could protect the others. The tall stalks of corn acted as a trellis for beans. The beans, a legume, provided nitrogen for the corn and squash. The big leaves of the squash shaded the soil and helped retain moisture for all.
Native American Foods on your Thanksgiving Table
Many of the foods folks enjoy here at Silver View RV Resort have their origins in Native American culture. Try these dishes for an unforgettable Holiday gathering…
Turkey – Yes, wild turkeys are indigenous to North America and have roamed the Southwest from Mexico through Canada for thousands of years. Add corn and jalapeños to the stuffing to add that Arizona touch.
Mesquite Flour – Made from the dried, ground pods of mesquite trees, this Native American food has a sweet, slightly nutty flavor. Try it in pizza dough, pancakes, muffins, and fry bread.
Fry Bread – Made of flour, water, salt, and baking powder, the bread is fried in lard and topped with beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream. Or use fry bread as a taco shell.
Chimichanga – Not exactly a Native American food, but a dish beloved all over Arizona. Legend has it that the chimichanga was born when a burrito fell into a deep-fryer and the crispy result was renamed ‘Chimichanga.’ Serve chimies enchilada-style with red sauce, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole.
Prickly Pear Margarita – The Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of Arizona are home to numerous varieties of cactus, including the prickly pear, also known as nopale. Native Americans and others use the flat pads and edible fruits of the nopale to make salads, jams, and syrups. Blend prickly pear syrup with tequila to make a real Arizona-style Margarita, turn on the TV, and watch football. That’s real Native American Food for an Arizona Thanksgiving.