The same corn written about in early
journals, and found on trade lists from the French Fur Trade in the North
to the Spanish settlements in the South, across the Mississippi Valley to
the Pacific in the West. If you do mid 1700's and later in this area, now
you can have the correct corn for your persona. A Native American product
that was found on most of the trade routes throughout the Louisiana
Purchase and its territory.
BLUE PARCHED CORN
Kaskaskia /Ft. Clark. M. M. Quaife
in his 1913 book, "Chicago and the Old Northwest, 1673-1835".
Quaife has many good references to forts and players. Kaskaskia, its
taking by the Hannibal of Kentucky (which was a county of Virginia) Clark,
and its history are fully covered. Later (1814) Forsyth is pleading the
case for a Factory at Ft. Clark, so the Pottawatomies can receive goods
"as cheap in this was as they formerly did in the factory at
Chicago". They were bemoaning the high prices at the sutler's store.
This is an excellent text in
some ways, and the fact that the map shows many forts and
settlements and pointedly does not show Fort Clark in relationship
to Kaskaskia may or may not shed light. There have been some foods
found and used at some of these locations; one of those is shown
“Corn is probably not what
you think it is: it is a generic term and it depends on where you live. In
the United States, corn means maize. In England the term means wheat and
in Scotland corn is the same as oats. In northern Germany, Korn is rye. In
truth all corn means is "grain" and each locality interprets it
as standing for its own familiar grain.” Leonard,
W. H. & J. H. Martin. Cereal Crops New York: Macmillan, 1963.
“Maize saved the first white
Virginians from starvation during their very first winter in Jamestown,
when the Indians gave Captain John Smith some 500 bushels of corn, after
the Virginians had exhausted their food supply. The same food allowed the
New England Plymouth colony to survive and prosper. First raised in Europe
in significant quantities around 1525 by the Spanish, it finally reached
England in 1562. Generally, throughout Europe and England it had little
use and was considered quite inferior to other more common grains”, per
the book by Brothwell,
Don. Food in Antiquity. London: Thames & Hudson, 1919. Carson,
G. Cornflake Crusade. New York: Rinehart, 1957.
When we speak of corn, we speak of
maize. Maize is a relatively new grain when compared to the rest of our
grains. A grain unique to the Americas and while used for thousands of
years by the Native American Peoples, it wasn’t until the first voyage
of Columbus, in 1492, that Europeans learned of this grain.
By historical accounts originated in
the southern areas of Mexico around 700 B.C. this maize was of the “blue”
variety. By 4,000 B.C. it was in the area now known as the southwestern
United States. The multiple colored varieties reached the Ohio River
Valley a mere 2,000 years ago.
With this production of maize came
“parched blue corn” and its salt brine wash that added to the storage
life from the southwest. Being one of the first trade items to spread from
the southern parts of Mexico to the northern border of the Americas,
reaching from the shining sea to the west and being traded east to the
Mississippi, this one item opened trade routes never experienced before.
Blue parched corn is roasted and
then washed in a sea salt brine, (as done for centuries by Native
Americans). Per references found in journals about Keaton, Boone, Bridger
and others, this was done to make corn last longer.
It's also note worthy that they
coarse ground their parched corn and mixed it with nuts, dried fruits and
different sugars, depending on what was available in their area. (probably
ground as its easier on their palate and digestive systems).
Here's how one can get
lead off the beaten track trying to do things correctly and believing what
one is told without checking things out closer.
Years ago we were selling a castile
soap, heavy with a perfume odor (which I felt was not correct). I
mentioned it to an Amish friend in Paoli PA, a week later I received a
After several months we found a
manufacturer willing to produce this original castile soap with the right
look and packaged much like the originals seen in museums.