The power of tradition: indigenous cuisine in the USA and folk cuisine in the UK

The market for food products and restaurants based on the traditions of the indigenous peoples of North America is growing  rapidly in the United States.  Indigenous farmers are selling their produce at markets, local restaurants are flourishing in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, and indigenous Guamanian cuisine is conquering San Francisco. Food labs are also springing up. For many of the nearly 4 million Native Americans from 574 federally recognised tribes, this is a process of reclaiming their lost dignity. It is worth noting that traditional indigenous diets do not include dairy, wheat flour, cane sugar, beef, pork or chicken. At the same time, who wouldn’t want to try smoked Lakota and Cherokee squash tacos with cilantro, pickled onions, jalapeño peppers, avocado and cress mousse with salsa verde sauce?

Folk traditions and customs from centuries ago are becoming fashionable among the younger generation of Britons  – a way of getting closer to nature and rebelling against the establishment. “Making Mischief” at the Compton Verney art gallery in Warwickshire is the first exhibition dedicated to British folk costumes and traditions celebrated by communities in the UK. It also aims to show how tradition is revived and updated for the modern world. Folk traditions resonate in elements of popular cultures, such as folk horror films and folk club music nights. The 2022 census counted more Pagans and Wiccans than ever before, and shamanism is the fastest-growing religious practice in the UK.

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