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Food In Colonial America History Essay

Americans are eating more food than previously F just as Excess fat: How Overweight Threatens Americas Future 2012. People in america like their food. To reiterate, the average American eats about fifteen hundred pounds of food per year (Whitman). Food for many is not only subsistence, but something to enjoy. Food is something that can bring relatives and buddies together, can bring back special recollections, and can release happy endorphins. However, America's first colonists were taking a look at food as something not so much concerning be appreciated, but to provide gas so they would be able to survive yet another day in the brand new World. As time went on, colonial delicacies metamorphosed into something truly different from the rest of the world and it extended to advance into what's America's realm of food today.

The Jamestown settlers, the first long term settlers of America, were trapped in their old British isles aristocratic ways. If they finally sailed to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, they were faced with a major dilemma because of their stubbornness; they needed food to reside but wouldn't normally walk out their comfort zone for it. Jamestown, Virginia, was not England; it had not been hospitable to the newcomers. They were not accustomed to hunting, to the earth that turned down their grains, and the pets and crops that didn't exist in European countries. One would think that the starving Jamestown settlers would have sought help faster from the Local Americans who got resided on the land for a large number of years nevertheless they would not dare purge on the "savages'" food. After a while though, that they had no choice and experienced to learn about maize, which is the Indian term for corn, and it would later turn into a staple in their diet. In addition, Indians could actually train them about a few of the game that roamed about. The learning was gained generally through trading, and the smoothness of trading could be related to Adam Smith. Although, once he still left back to Britain, the settlers went through a winter they dubbed "starving time". Their fatal errors were that they didn't want to plantation or hunt since in Great britain that was a lower course person's job and that they searched for gold when they first appeared. James Smith's truism accurately pertains to not only the Jamestown settlers but colonists in general, "No work, no food" ("A Brief History of Jamestown. ").

Trade with the Powhatan Indians

Powhatan Indians trading seafood, corn, and bakery for metallic trinkets in Jamestown.

The colonists got a long voyage to go on regarding food. If they wanted to are in America that they had to open up their minds and mouths to new dishes. In lots of of the colonies edible crops and animals were there in large sums that just seemed to be requesting to be consumed but for a long period the colonists would not eat such plant life or animals. For example, tomato vegetables and oysters initially were extensively unaccepted by modern culture, and therefore were not consumed, even though both could have provided great diet for the colonists. Fortunately, after some time, the colonists could actually pick up the Native American's diet and other "low category" diets and blend their traditional foods from your home together to make a totally new kind of diet that can only be tagged American.

Although food mixed from region to region some things were usually the same. Most American colonists possessed an early breakfast. Following that they then would have their biggest meal of the day, supper, but modern Us citizens would think of it as lunch time since it usually was eaten in the middle of the day. Then late in the evening they would have a light supper.

The colonies' preparing food techniques were also virtually identical. For quite some time, a fireplace was their main way to make food. Hearth was used for boiling, and the coals for broiling (Taylor). They would place a container over the fire suspended over a rod as shown in the picture below.

New Great britain kitchen, note pot in fireplace on right and the way the room functions not just as a kitchen. A new kitchen contraption came into being, a trivet, a tripod that allowed for coals to be positioned under a particular pot setting up a tidier and far better working area. Kettles were used for a multitude of things like, "boiling, rendering, simmering, thickening, and curing" (Taylor). Colony Times: New Great britain Kitchen Scene

Recreated colonial oven. Other items used to make food included spiders, "frying pans place on three legs", Dutch ovens, and griddles (Taylor). Housewives often acquired creative and progressive, using chains to lessen their pots, using hoes to cook up cornmeal this provides you with the name, "hoecakes", using old coals whenever you can, and doing other things like that in an effort to make the food preparation process better (Whitman). Kitchens with higher technology were reserved for folks with money and larger kitchens usually were utilized in Southern plantation homes or richer homes where they had to nourish more than a little family. Often kitchens were made different from the home if you were in the more fortunate bracket of rich people, otherwise they might maintain the most significant room of the house. Kitchens were dangerous, "twenty five percent of most women were wiped out by cooking crashes, notably melts away from long dresses and effective fires" (Taylor). Even though there is risk, women still would prepare and would have the fire getting rid of nearly all day and night long, all year long. The range was a significant part of the colonial kitchen. 1 day out of the week was especially set aside for baking, on this day they would keep other chores to the very least and give attention to baking bakery and other goods. Early colonial ovens were humble, simple, and the majority of the time bee-hived molded as shown in the picture on the still left. Other culinary helpers such as buckets and paddles that would make cheese or butter were often made out of timber and other kitchen supports were made out of clay. Glass was very costly initially for the colonists and so glass containers and mugs usually found homes that belonged to the prosperous. Another object that whenever it first merged onto the landscape was considered a luxury was the fork. Forks eventually transferred down the interpersonal school ladder and gained more prongs. Nevertheless, spoons and knives have been common because the settlers first found its way to Jamestown. http://www. engr. psu. edu/mtah/projects/images/clay_oven7. jpg

So the colonists used those things to cook but what did they prepare? It mixed region to region and class to course but overall the colonist's diet consisted mainly of beef and loaf of bread.

The New Britain colonists were not blessed with good land but great harbors. Shellfish, lobster, and other seafoods like oysters and clams were considerable and allowed for various chowders to be created. Salmon was another source of food for the brand new Englanders because the fish filled their streams well. Since wheat did not take to the soil, almost all of the time they would replace the grain with corn to make bread. A lot of the chowders and meals have influences that may be traced back again to the French Huguenots and hair trappers from Canada that traveled about or settled down in the most north colonies (Taylor). Later in the years, the colonists have grow berry orchards, most commonly apples. New Englanders also ate their share in berries. Berries that were eaten by the New England colonists included, "blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, and gooseberries" ("Colonial New England Food & Cooking. "). Another food that was unique to New England set alongside the other regions apart from cranberries was maple syrup and maple glucose. Additionally, a factor that influenced the dietary plan of the colonists was that Puritanism was the prominent religion and generally speaking it stressed the importance of not being gluttonous. Eventually, the theory that food should be consumed to feed your body, not to excite the tastebuds, stemmed from that ideal.

The middle colonies had a great deal of Dutch affect since a large part of their populace was Dutch. Also, the center colonies were heading to become the "bread container" out of the three regions given that they eventually were to create whole wheat at a great rate. This gave them an impetus to make more meals involving white flour than the other colonies. The middle colonies also housed New York, a huge city where numerous races but especially the Dutch gave their influence on food in the area quickly. "Cookies, waffles, sausage, cabbage, lentils, rye bread and soups" all were either from the Dutch or highly well-liked by the Dutch and therefore altered New York's food culture as soon as it might (Taylor). Furthermore, Quakers generally lived in this area, and like the Puritans, discouraged wasteful eating.

Southern colonies tended to have more fruits than the other two parts as their weather was more advantageous for growing them. In addition, like the areas mentioned previously, the southern colonies also possessed religious influences on their diet. Especially in Maryland where the society was predominately Catholic, on Fridays they might only consume fish and not other kind of meats. A regional niche was special potatoes. Another aspect unique to the Southern colonies was that they didn't consume all the dairy since dairy simply wouldn't normally last as long in their weather (Whitman).

There were a whole lot of similarities though between the colonies and what they ate. Pork dominated in the meat department. Among the primary reasons being that pigs were very easy to raise and look after. Larger family pets typically were not hunted since their ways of preservation did not permit them to effectively maintain the animals. Game included venison, where in Great britain it was considered a wealthy man's sport to hunt (Taylor). Turkey, pigeon, geese, quail, woodcock, and ducks were all birds which were positively hunted (Taylor). All of these animals were thriving, people to America wrote how sometimes there would be so many ducks soaring overhead that they would black color out the sky (Whitman). Turtles and squirrels were eaten. Beaver was also contained into food by frying or broiling its tail (Taylor). Sturgeon, eels, and stingrays were so numerous that colonists could spear with swords the stingrays and catch others in a blink associated with an eye (Taylor). Cows, pigs, sheep, goats, honeybees, and chickens were brought in. So were many of the fruits like apricots, apples, and peaches that took a while to become area of the colonist's diet. Carrots as well were presented to America during the colonial age. "Africans helped bring black-eyed peas" (Taylor). Grain arrived to America around the year 1720. Colonists lacked vegetables and fruits in the first years, which led to health issues like pellagra and gout. After that preliminary hump though, the colonists could actually eat wild leeks, squashes (that have been attained from the Indigenous Americans), potatoes, and carrots (which later converted outrageous and created a new subgenre of carrot). One of the ways that they partially constructed the deficiencies obtained from having less fruit and vegetables was through nuts. Colonists would once in a while eat acorns but "african american walnuts, chestnuts, hickory, beech, and pecansgrew outdoors and were consumed" more regularly (Taylor). Herbal remedies like, basil, clove pink, and thyme were also put to good use by the colonists in food and medicine (Miller-Cory House Education Committee).

Gardner Bakery's cranberry apple pie, stylized like from colonial times. For breakfast colonists would routinely have porridge. The wealthier could have a more intricate breakfast that would include fruits. Dishes usually were made from a "one container system". Due to the one container system, stews, container roasts, and puddings became the norm for the colonial meal. Pies and pastries were also a part of the colonist's diet and were similar to stews encased in loaf of bread than the pies we realize today, as shown on the still left. The colonists also distributed a sweet tooth, and the sweeteners that were "in" changed over time from honey, to glucose, and then to molasses. http://www. gardnerpie. com/images/colonial/colonialapplecran_sm. jpg

Preservation methods did not differ too much from region to region. Meats, fruits, and herbal remedies were dried out by sunlight. Sometimes they might pickle, smoke cigars, or get rid of their meats so that they can protect them. Often surpluses of berries instead of allowing them to go south were converted into alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic drinks were a huge facet of an American colonist's life. In European countries, water was unsafe to drink and it was expected for everybody however the extremely wealthy to drink ale since it wiped out off any bacteria. So when they immigrated to America, the colonists kept that same distrust for drinking water and drank beer or other alcoholic refreshments to avoid getting horrendous waterborne diseases. Plenty of Americans also relished wine. Some business owners tried creating a global class American wine beverage but it never captured on and imports were always considered the trendiest and best wines. Furthermore, brandy, gin, whiskey, and rum maintained the breweries, distilleries, and America's thirst for liquor heading.

Non-alcoholic drinks that colonists drank were teas, coffees, and a chocolates drink; "chocolate" was reserved for those who could manage it, which were not many. Once the boycotts for tea happened, coffee went more into fashion since it became "patriotic" (Taylor).

Excerpt from Simmons's cookbook, first saved receipt (menu) for pumpkin pie. There have been some critical distinctions from the American's diet set alongside the Englishman's diet. The results of the several diets could be seen in the American's height, complexion, and life span; People in america were taller, acquired healthier complexions, and lived much longer than new immigrants or those moving into Europe (Taylor). A number of the reasons that Americans were healthier were because there is a lot food to bypass and they got added variety into their diet. The changes in diet can even be designated in the aptly called America's first cook book, American Cookery, or, The art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables; and the best methods of earning pastes, puffs, pies, tarts, puddings, custards, and preserves: and all sorts of cakes, from the imperial plumb to the basic cake, adapted to this country, and everything levels of life, which was written in 1796 by Amelia Simmons (Whitman). Historians call her cookbook the first American cookbook since it used ingredients not found in Europe like pumpkins, corn food, and squash. Another element of the colonist's life that was not like their fellow "cousins" over the sea was how they ate. Englishmen published of their journeys often complaining about how the country "gulps, gobbles, and goes", these were appalled by having less silverware, and how People in america would "plunge to their mouths substantial wedges of meat and pounds of fruit and vegetables, perched on the ends of their knives" (Whitman). http://www. kitchenproject. com/history/Pumpkin/New%20Folder/PumpkinPie. jpg


The significance of American colonial food is not something people think about nonetheless they should. Four hundred and five years ago it mattered what folks ate and it still matters now. Food helps set up social classes. In the colonial times it helped break interpersonal class boundaries initially because the aristocratic people would expire if they didn't eat what they thought these were "too good for". Food plays a part in the overall health of any person, and so a nation. America's food was making the colonists stronger than a whole lot of the other countries' peoples which would be important when America started out fighting the conflict for self-reliance in 1776. Also, other countries thought People in the usa were successful for themselves since they acquired full bellies thus attracting more immigrants. That was also part of the charm of American cuisine; immigrants did not have to reduce their culinary traditions completely but could add these to "the melting container". Food helps determine a culture, a country, and the new diet provided fodder for America's reasoning that she acquired become too different from her "mother England" and for that reason needed to distinguish. Additionally, colonial food influenced the food we now have. Pumpkin pie, BBQ, clam chowder, and a great many other dishes can trace their way back to colonists in early America; I personally cannot envision a life without pumpkin pie, BBQ, and clam chowder. There are also the public ties to food that lasted generations; in colonial times it was easier to have lots of food available, definitely not to eat at onetime, but it was a way to show hospitality and wealth (Whitman). Basically it was a positive thing to acquire big portions and this attitude of more on the dish the better has lasted into contemporary times.

What If #1

What if there is no food? Imagine if every single person who came up up to America and perhaps by magic, cannot find one little bit of food? Not really a seafood, acorn, rabbit, turtle, or edible insect, nothing. They also could not develop anything, and each and every time they tried out to transfer something as soon as they might step on land, it would disappear into nothing. However, Indians would be able to exist as usual and for that reason have food. I imagine that something similar would happen to what occurred with Salt Lake City in Utah, when the lake that provided metropolis its name was actually salt water, someone composed awful accounts of the area and people remained away for some time. Even if European countries continued to eyes America for gold and spices, if there could never be colonial food, there could never be life. Maybe the Indians would not experienced such awful tragedies befall upon them, no trail of tears, no tears from discovering their brothers killed and their rights stripped away. This does mean that there would be no United states and that Europe would have experienced needed to find another place for so many of its visitors to immigrate to. Maybe there would not have been World Conflict I or II, but a battle that might be unbelievably worse.

What If #2

What if North american colonial food never developed into American colonial food and had just stayed English? This may have resulted in death. The colonists would have died rather than eat corn, or pumpkins, or squash, or the other new American plants. They would never have eaten the huge amounts of game that pranced about in the us since they hadn't seen or consumed such family pets in Britain. When enough time came to boycott tea, they might not have been able to. If indeed they longed for British food so badly and were dying, I imagine most of them would go back to Britain. Then another European country would submit its people and they would colonize and then America wouldn't normally have Anglo-Saxon root base, but another thing. Maybe then Great Britain would strike back later or maybe that one Western european country would rule it until its people revolt. Or maybe they never revolt. If which were to happen maybe I would be writing this article in French instead of American English. Another possible outcome of the "what if" is that lots of countries combat to colonize America, Local Americans are pitting country against country, and after so many years America ends up being broken into different countries. Either imagine if ends up with America not getting colonized by THE UK thus changing background forever.


When considering the set of possible semester event subject areas I got so scared to end up with something that I would dread hanging out on and have to pull tooth to work on, therefore i was very relieved to find that I could decide on my own issue. I spent lots of time buying a topic that best suited me. I knew I needed to take action that included the culture of the colonies and had considered doing something about wedding ceremonies and taverns but there just was not enough information on each one. Then I considered doing colonial dishes. I love food and it touched on everything I thought was interesting, beverages, sociable functions, different races and their food. So I went for this.

Even though I had a general concept of a few of the aspects of colonial food I discussed, some of the things I read I found really alarming or funny. I had no idea that such a standard way to pass away was from cooking food, "25 percent of all women were wiped out by cooking accidents" (Taylor). I experienced like I needed appreciated how much easier and safer it is to cook now before, however now I appreciate it even more. I also did not know the scope of America's bounty like how there were so many ducks that they could take flight over and convert the sky black for a couple of seconds. In addition, I did not know how unsafe the colonial diet was in the early years in a few ways, like the way they ate too much beef and not enough vegetables. It offers me more perception on how the indegent and the slaves lived life especially, how miserable their meals were and exactly how even more miserable those foods would be if they were the poor in Great britain.

Book Review

The Writer's Guide to EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES in Colonial America From 1607- 1783 by Dale Taylor was extraordinary to work with. I could check it out from the school's library. It offers pictures, links to videos, and diagrams, quite simply every visual you must understand what the writer is trying to describe. The book goes over literally from everyday routine in Colonial America from food, structures, clothing, religion, professions, to government. Even though my theme was only covered on thirteen web pages, the e book has tiny print so I got more information than what I expected. The few negative things I must say about it, is that it tends to group everything jointly or it will generalize sometimes. However, it offers you further readings which you can use to increase your knowledge and fill in any gaps you may have. Future APUSH students, if you are doing your semester event over a social facet of America this book is worth shopping because it will provide you with some useful information.


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"A BRIEF OVERVIEW of Jamestown. " Historyisfun. org. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Web. 1 Dec. 2012.

"Colonial & Early American Fare. " Foodtimeline. org. Lynne Olver, Web. 2 Dec. 2012. .

"Colonial New Britain Food & Baking. " Agriculturalmuseum. org. Pearson Education Inc. , Web. 2 Dec. 2012.

"Colonial Pies. " Gardnerpie. com. Gardner Pie Company, Web. 4 Dec. 2012. .

"THE CENTER Colonies. " Ed101. bu. edu. Boston School, 2007. Web. 3 Dec. 2012.

Salisbury, Joyce E. and Peter Seelig. "Food in Colonial North America. " Daily Life through Record. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.

Taylor, Dale. The Writer's Guide to EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES in Colonial America From 1607-1783. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Process, 1997. Printing.

Whitman, Sylvia. The History of North american Food: What's Food preparation? Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Magazines, 2001. Printing.

Ziegler, Gregory R. "The Bakery Oven: Sign of Colonial Liberty/A Large Clay Range. " Engr. psu. edu. The Pennsylvania Condition University or college, n. d. Web. 1 Dec. 2012. .

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