Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Corn Mush

Here's a sneak preview from the Iroquois White Corn Project photo shoot!
     Niawenkò:wa to everyone that has shown such tremendous support since I unveiled the new work I've been doing with Mohawk language and food! I'm really thankful and excited to be doing something that may be of help to our community in regards to language revitalization and learning about our traditional foods. I'll be presenting a little bit more about this at the Third Annual Research Symposium on Haudenosaunee-Native American Studies Research at University at Buffalo on Friday, November 14th. For more information, check here. The title of my presentation will be: "Tetewatskà:hons ne Sewatokwà:tshera (We Eat From the ‘Dish with One Spoon’): Revitalizing Haudenosaunee Food Traditions through Mohawk Language ”

     While I'm on the topic of traditional foods, I've been doing some food photography work with the Iroquois White Corn Project this fall (more on this next blog post!) and have been thinking a lot about corn. I've been rereading Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation by Waugh (1916) and found what seems like no end to corn recipes and usages. Beyond simply cooking, the milk of the corn was used for infants when breastfeeding was not possible, the husks were used for beautiful basketry and dolls, or even for in-ground food storage during the winter months. I could go on and on about the numerous varieties of original, heirloom types of corn too, and how important this 1/3 of the Three Sisters is to our wellbeing, culture, and life, but I should probably get on to sharing the recipe I had intended to share today: Corn Mush.

          For those unfamiliar, corn mush (otsískwa) is a delicious traditional dish often part of ceremonial and social gatherings. It has the consistency of a porridge, almost like Cream of Wheat, or oatmeal. Put simply, it is the boiling of ground white corn flour until most of of the water has cooked or absorbed into the corn meal. It is easy, fast, and a scrumptious way to start your day or serve anytime. Though it is a simple two-ingredient dish, people prepare it in different ways adding maple syrup, nuts, fruits, or even meat if one desired. For today's entry, I am sharing the recipe from the Iroquois White Corn Project where you can find the White Corn Flour used to cook this dish.

*Printable Recipe*
Makes 1 serving

1 Cup Iroquois Roasted Corn Flour or Iroquois White Corn Flour
2 Cups Water (add more Maple Syrup if you like it sweet)

1. In a saucepan, whisk Roasted Corn Flour into water.
2. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat.
3. Simmer for 5-7 minutes.
4. Serve with fruit, nuts, or brown sugar.

     Share some comments below if you'd like. How do you make your mush? Do you add any additional ingredients?


  1. I just bought some of the regular (non-roasted) flour at the World on Your Plate forum and am looking forward to trying it out!

  2. It's a wonderful flour to work with, Amy! Let us know if you are able to come up with any unique recipes with it!