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Renewing Salmon Nation's Food Traditions

Gary Paul Nabhan

A RAFT/Ecotrust Book.

7 × 8.5 inches. B&W photographs. Maps. Resource List. 76 pages.

2006. ISBN 978-0-97793-320-4. Paperback, $9.95.

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.

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