Food of the Florida Indians

Food of the Florida Indians


  • Food of the Florida Indians

Published Date

  • published 1940


Vegetal foods, such as roots and buds from wild plants, still form
part of his diet. One of the vegetal foods is called "ah-ah," which is the
generic word for potato. This food consists of flour from the roots of the
China briar, or wild potato. The roots, after being carefully washed, are
placed in a large bottle of water. On top of the roots is placed a thick
layer of Spanish moss and on top of this, a strip of the inner fiber of the
palmetto. This is done to keep the steam in the pot. After a few hours
slow cooking, the roots are taken from the kettle, mashed to a pulp,
strained in several waters, and dried. During the drying process, the pulp
is reduced to a brick-colored flour from which the squaws make thin
cakes which they serve with honey. "Countee" is a popular rye-colored
flour made from the roots of a species of palmetto.

The vegetable garden usually contains corn, potatoes, beans, peas,
squash and melons. Of these, corn and sweet potatoes are the most
liked. Corn is used in many dishes and drinks. "Oafka," a popular drink
and a part of every meal, is made by boiling corn with hickory ashes.
"Hum-bux-chay" (come eat) is the Seminole's call to neighbor
and tribesman alike. He is hospitable at the "sofka' kettle. "Sofka," a
stew made by cooking meet thickened with meal, grits or vegetables, is a
standard dish and a large pot of it will almost always be found in some
convenient spot near the center of the camp.