Thursday, November 15, 2012

What was the Mormon Pioneer's Diet?

The Mormon Pioneer's diet was like any pioneers; their food had to last a long time, and most of it was either bland or salty.  The only exception was they didn't drink any alcohol, tea, or coffee.  Their main foods was hardtack, a well known food that uses only flour, water, and salt.  It makes a cracker or wafer that can last indefinitely and lives up to it's name.  Hardtack is really hard and brittle, some pioneers saying that it broke their teeth.  Another food is corn.  They had corn mush, cream of corn, dried corn, and cornbread.   They would also eat salted pork, which is different than smoked.  It stays white, it lasts a long time salted and is stored in barrels which is given the name, "the pork barrel."  It is similar to bacon, but it has not been cooked nor smoked.  They have to wash the pork a few times because it is to salty to eat at first.  They would also eat beans.   One famous cookware the saints (Mormon Pioneers) would use is the dutch oven.  Widely still used in the 21st century with campers, the dutch oven is a simple way to cook meals over a fire.  It is heavy, but it will last a good long time.
when the saints were low on food, they would have to resort to eating rawhide.  They would scrape any hair off, boil the hide in water, throw out water, and boil again until the hide turned into a jelly, then it would be eaten with a little sugar.
That isn't all the saints would eat.  They would take every advantage they had when they would come across a river, stream, spring, or any area with any food or water.  They would drink and fill up containers with water, they would hunt for any animals, they would fish when they had the chance, and they would search for any edible plants, including wild vegetables and berries.  There would be a chance though that someone would mistake a poisonous plant for an edible plant, and there were people in other pioneering treks that have died from eating poisonous plants. 


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