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Foods of Our Ancestors

Minn fried cookie doughSince food and eating of meals is essential for life, no matter which century, it is fascinating to look back at different time periods to see what might have been typical food dishes for our ancestors. By examining the 18th century (1700s) food time line, we can better see the types of food and meals available for our relatives. Many of these same dishes continued during most of the 19th century also.

What you might not have realized, there were also foods typical to certain regions or colonial dishes. A food grown in South Carolina might not be grown or available in New York since transportation of food products was not done in the 18th century. People instead developed their own local dishes.

On this listing are all the future US states, some which had been colonies, others were territories to the United States then states. Yet, regional food dishes still continued. There were also influences of those nationalities that held certain territories.

NM -tacos and enchiladas

A good example is Arizona, not one of the original 13 colonies but rather thecooking done in Arizona is so closely linked to that of Mexico and the Texas region, which held that region for decades and border it, so creating Tex-Mex food. With each state written up are some classic recipes of the states.

Many states also used foods in the state seals or logos. There is Delaware using milk and strawberries in their logo. Florida is known for its oranges and any citrus fruit.

States were usually settled by certain ethnic groups in the 18th and 19th centuries. So Delaware having many German and Dutch immigrates will feature more foods and meals with that influence.

MD softshell crabs

Also since most regions had native American Indians, their food selection became part of the settlers dinners.

Some foods become specialties of certain states or cities because they originated there. There are Chicago hot dogs, Philly cheese steak, or Louisiana gumbo soup.

Review over the listing of states, especially all those that your ancestors lived in. You will find you don’t have to go back but two generations to find foods of that state that were part of the family dinners.

Photos: Minnesota fried cookie dough, New Mexico tacos and enchiladas and Maryland softshell crabs.


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