What is Native Flavor?

Native Flavor is a collection of recipes and resources celebrating the produce, seafood, and game unique to the United States and the passionate people who champion these foods. Many of these special flavors, though still abundant in our immediate surrounds, have disappeared from our plates and our consciousness.

For example, how many have heard of the pawpaw, the largest fruit native to the United States, or tasted its beguiling flavors of banana, pineapple, and vanilla cream? Ever compare the heady aromas of an Oregon black truffle against the French Périgord? Or witnessed the beautiful pale pink flesh of marbled Chinook salmon? How many can even pronounce “geoduck?” What’s a ramp, and why should we be mindful of how (and how many) we harvest? Ever try elk in Kentucky, American persimmons in North Carolina, chiltepins in Arizona, abalone in California, fiddleheads in Maine, walleye in Wisconsin, or salmonberries in Oregon? Well, it’s time.

Native Flavor is a desire to add spice to our meals by rediscovering these forgotten foods, those special to our home. Such foods are the true ingredients of place, and the basis for a distinctive, delicious cuisine.

Want more? Read “Identity Crisis” from the book Eating the Pacific Northwest. Then peruse the site, read some recipe headnotes, and sample true American flavor.