Delicious and Easy Frybread Tacos Recipe

| 10/8/2020 4:29:00 PM

9 salsa

We’re in Mesa Verde National Park right now and touring the Anasazi cliff dwellings. I have a hard time imagining how these ancient peoples made a living here but they did it relatively well for over 700 years before leaving to go elsewhere in the Southwest. I look at these stone homes and structures and think of the men and women who cultivated and hunted food every day. What exactly did the Anasazi people eat? The archaeological record indicates corn, beans and squash supplemented by the occasional deer or rabbit.  It was a simple diet without all the additions we take for granted today.

Frybread, this recipe's central ingredient, arose from a dark chapter of American history: the theft of Indigenous lands and forced relocations of Indigenous peoples to reservations. In 1864, the United States government forcibly removed the Navajo and Mescalero Apache peoples of Arizona to Bosque Redondo, an internment camp in eastern New Mexico—a deeply traumatic event known as the "Long Walk." The forced march to Bosque Redondo killed several hundred Indigenous people, who, unable to keep up with the pace, were either shot or left for dead. Starvation, exposure, and disease killed almost a third of the ten thousand Indigenous peoples forcibly imprisoned at Bosque Redondo.    

Because the Indigenous peoples held at Bosque Redondo were unable to grow their staple foods on account of the poor land quality, the United States government supplied lard, canned items, white flour and sugar. Lard, white flour, and sugar would be used to create frybread. In Indigenous cultures of the United States today, frybread symbolizes "both perseverance and pain," as Jenn Miller of the Smithsonian Magazine puts it. 

Whenever I make frybread tacos, sometimes known as Navajo tacos, I not only enjoy a delicious meal, but I am also reminded of the resilience and rich cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples in the United States.

Authentic Frybread Tacos

6-8 servings 

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