Saturday, October 03, 2009

Nativetech.org

Through the wonders of neurons firing, today I remembered a website I have been bookmarking since around 1998.

NATIVE TECH
"An internet resource for indigenous ethno-technology focusing on the arts of Eastern Woodland Indian Peoples, providing historical & contemporary background with instructional how-to's & references."

News, crafts, recipes, art, language links, it's a treasure.
I particularly enjoy the humor laced through some of the articles, especially the recipes.

I used to enjoy wildcrafting. I don't do much any more, shy of going in the backyard now and then for some catnip, but I rediscovered one of my favorite summer beverages on the site today:

Staghorn (Red) Sumac Tea.

Tastes like pink lemonade, hibiscus tea, and rose hips.
For fans of Middle Eastern foods, red sumac powder is the tangy red stuff resembling paprika you find sprinkled on lots of dishes. As I can no longer have lemon, I plan to stock up on the sumac powder from a local middle eastern grocery store. If I were still wildcrafting, it grows all over the place here in Michigan, but I'll just be glad I have great ethnic stores nearby.

Zina asked:
No lemons? Is that all citrus fruit like limes and oranges as well, or just specifically lemons
In Answer:

Hi Zina, it's anything with citric acid and/or sodium citrate in it, I'm afraid. I even need to be careful not to eat too many dried/mature beans, as they contain citric acid as a natural consequence of the krebs cycle (in my rudimentary understanding of chemistry).
Once they are cooked and rinsed they are less acidic, thank goodness. Acetic acid (vinegar), oxalic acid (rhubarb, sumac, sorrel), those are fine for me.
I am also able to use herbs that contain citronella, for a lemony flavor (lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemon thyme)

3 comments:

AlisonH said...

My immediate reaction was, poison sumac?! But I guess there's more than one type of sumac? (Tell me there is...) Other than that, that sounds like a lovely resource; I'll have to check it out.

Zina Lee said...

I love being in places with good "ethnic" stores -- my partner's sister lives in Hackney, so there's lots of Turkish everything there, and back home in Colorado we're gifted with three good Indian grocers, and of course there's Mexican supplies in all of the supermarkets in Colorado.

No lemons? Is that all citrus fruit like limes and oranges as well, or just specifically lemons

Diana Troldahl said...

Hi Zina, it's anything with citric acid and/or sodium citrate in it, I'm afraid. I even need to be careful not to eat too many dried/mature beans, as they contain citric acid as a natural consequence of the krebs cycle.
Once they are cooked and rinsed they are less acidic, thank goodness.
Acetic acid, oxalic acid, those are fine for me.