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Pioneer Farmers In the mid-1800s, Americans from the east coast and European immigrants, among them many Germans, settled the trans- Appalachian flatlands.

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Presentation on theme: "Pioneer Farmers In the mid-1800s, Americans from the east coast and European immigrants, among them many Germans, settled the trans- Appalachian flatlands."— Presentation transcript:


2 Pioneer Farmers In the mid-1800s, Americans from the east coast and European immigrants, among them many Germans, settled the trans- Appalachian flatlands and central plains. Arriving slightly later, Eastern European settlers began farming the arid, treeless western plateau, building sod structures as shown below.

3  Farmlands Cuisine’s only direct Native American legacy, wild rice is the seed of an aquatic grass—not actually a type of rice.  Today, cultivated wild rice is reasonably priced and widely available.  True wild rice, harvested in the traditional manner shown below, is superior in flavor and texture.

4 1. Uncooked 2. Boiled Wild Rice3. Popped Wild Rice

5 One farm machine replaced many workers. Steam power, and later the internal combustion engine, replaced horses. Loss of manure fertilizer created need for chemical fertilizers. Monoculture (growing a single cash crop) replaced diversified agriculture. Surplus grain was fed to cattle, improving flavor and mouth feel of beef.


7 In 1863 the Transcontinental Railroad was begun. The US Desert Land Act of 1877 opened land west of the 100th meridian to free-claim settlement. After the Civil War, longhorn cattle roamed the western plains free for the taking. After the US Government solved “The Indian Problem,” thousands of entrepreneurs headed west to found ranches.

8 Loose grain was pumped into container cars, eliminating bagging and other handling.

9 Wisconsin and other Great Lakes states became centers of large-scale cheese production. Copycat cheeses: American-made cheeses produced in the style of well- known European cheeses. Cheese curds: nuggets of newly-pressed, un-aged Cheddar-type cheese. (Truly fresh cheese curds squeak when you eat them.) Where’s the Yellow Cow?

10  soil depletion  chemical pollution  social problems resulting from the loss of the family farm

11 Based on New England and Mid-Atlantic cooking, Central Farmlands food is the model of “American” cuisine.

12  ample, high-quality protein foods  large portions  minimal seasonings  simple recipes and methods  few sauces  strong food culture Virtually everyone native to the region has a parent or grandparent who farmed or worked in food processing.  culinary conservatives Thrift and plain living are valued.

13  Beef, pork, chicken  roasts and steaks  walleye ( the only commercially-harvested Great Lakes fish)  cheese dishes  sweet corn  potato dishes  casseroles  breaded and fried foods, such as Weiner schnitzel  home-made jams, jellies, preserves, pickles

14 AMERICAN WHITE BREAD pan loaf (right) for slicing enriched with milk, butter, sugar, sometimes egg for long-keeping Pullman loaf (pain de mie) makes square slices for sandwiches “Pullman” describes something long and narrow in design (as in the railroad Pullman car, or luggage called the Pullman case. So named after George Pullman.

15 Fruit pies are a Farmlands specialty. (especially cherry pie made from Door County, WI, sour cherries) Savory pies feature stewed chicken, beef, or even Lake Fish baked under a pastry crust. These are sometimes called pot pies. (contrast with PA Dutch bot boi.)

16 North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma northern and central Texas eastern Montana eastern Wyoming eastern Colorado

17 America’s western plateau lies between the 100th meridian and the Rocky Mountain foothills.  arid: less than 20 inches rainfall per year  thin, poor soil  short grass prairie  a climate of extremes  river valleys are oasis supporting wildlife and early humans

18  The great American short-horned bison dominated the short grass prairie.  At the time of European first contact, more than 60 million bison roamed the Great Plains.

19 Before Europeans and Americans fully settled the east coast, few Native American tribes actually lived on the western plateau—it functioned as a shared hunting ground. Only after population pressure pushed them west did numerous tribes populate the plains.

20 Western plateau tribes were nomadic hunter-gatherers that used ancient hunting methods (below). Many were previously-settled tribes but gave up agriculture when they became plains equestrians. Bison and other game meats formed the basis of their high- protein, low carbohydrate diet.

21 Strongly influenced modern Ranchlands cuisine.  bison meat  jerky (thin strips of salted, dried meat) and other dried meat products (left)  outdoor firepit cooking  paunch cooking

22  based on beef ranchers ate the tender cuts, cowboys made do with tough cuts  pioneer provisions cornmeal, flour, sourdough, beans, salt pork and bacon, canned foods  cast iron cooking and baking (left)  professional cooks, mostly men

23 CHUCKWAGON GRUB Ranchers fitted out Civil War surplus supply wagons to make mobile kitchens called chuckwagons. The coosie (cook) and his chuckwagon served cowboys working far from the ranch house or on long drives.

24 Before commercial yeast, bakers captured free-floating wild yeasts (and bacteria) in a flour-and-water batter called a starter. Bacteria cause fermentation, souring batters and doughs. Most types of yeast can’t live in acidic conditions. However, certain wild yeasts can thrive in acidic batters and doughs; breads and other baked goods made with acidic starters are called sourdoughs. They have a distinctive tangy flavor. Coosies carefully tended their sourdough starters, in cold weather carrying them inside their clothing to keep them at the correct, warm temperature.

25 Many ranchers hired Mexican cowboys; some became cooks.  Mexican seasonings for grilled meats: fajitas (skirt steak)  Mexican-style bean dishes  Texas chili (with an “i”), left  later, Mexican-American dishes such as nachos and quesadillas

26 After the Civil War, freed African-Americans went west, becoming ranchers and cowboys. They introduced Plantation-style barbeque. Traditional Ranchlands barbeque features beef, usually brisket but sometimes a whole steer (below). Tomato-based Ranchlands barbeque sauce is mild, sweet, and thick.

27 Today alternative ranching produces new foods that enrich Ranchlands cuisine. bison ostrich emu venison antelope

28  Today Ranchlands-themed restaurants are found throughout the nation.  Ranchlands cuisine is considered “fun food,” popular with children.  Because it is naturally raised, lean, and low in cholesterol, bison has become a popular alternative to beef for health-conscious customers.


30 Population centers grew up around waterway confluences and railroad hubs. Most focused on food production.

31 Stockyards are used to hold and finish cattle. Finishing involves two physical processes.  confinement: muscles lose tone, meat becomes tender  high-fat diet: grain feeding creates marbling (veins of interior fat) for rich mouthfeel

32  canning plants for vegetables and meats  grain processing plants for breakfast cereals  industrial bakeries  frozen food manufacturers

33 THE STEAKHOUSE serves prime, house-aged beefsteaks broiling is traditional 1970s gas grills, 1980s wood-fired grills strictly á la carte featured side dishes: potato dishes, especially  steak fries  creamed spinach  asparagus  Hollandaise  tossed salad

34 CHICAGO DEEP-DISH PIZZA Thick, deep crust filled with layers of cheese, sauce, and fillings is more like a casserole than a pizza. CINCINNATI CHILI Ground beef chili flavored with Middle Eastern spices served over spaghetti “five ways.” CITY SOUL FOOD African-American-style Plantation South cuisine is found in homes and restaurants. African-Americans brought barbeque to the Midwest.

35 MIDWESTERN BARBEQUE Kansas City, MO  all types of pork plus beef ribs and brisket  tomato-based sauce is sweet, mild, and thick St. Louis, MO  St. Louis-cut ribs are squared off; brisket bones become rib tips  “crispy snoots”  tomato-based sauce is less sweet, tangy, and thinner

36 CENTRAL FARMLANDS Traditional Farmlands cuisine is endangered.  less time for cooking; convenience foods  declining quality due to industrial agriculture and loss of family farms  chefs must support local, sustainable agriculture to preserve quality products CENTRAL CITIES Continuing immigration brings new ingredients and ideas.


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