Sunday, May 21, 2023

Powcohicora beverage

The history of pecans can be traced back to the 16th century. The only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America, the pecan is considered one of the most valuable North American nut species. Pecans were also considered a valuable commodity for the Native Americans because they consumed them daily and then began to use the pecans in exchanges with explorers.

Because wild pecans were readily available, many Native American tribes in the U.S. and Mexico used the wild pecan as a major food source during autumn. Native Americans ate pecans but also made pecan milk for infants and the elderly.

They first cultivated the wild pecan tree, relied on its nourishing kernels as a major food source and created what could be considered the original nut milk, called powcohicora (where the word “hickory” comes from), by fermenting pecans into a drink.

A historical record from the mid-1500s by the Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca revealed that Native Americans in south Texas would gather pecans in autumn and then grind them and soak them in water to make a milky beverage to sustain them throughout the winter.

This rich, nutty concoction was added to broth to thicken it, and to corn cakes and hominy as a seasoning. This liquid also formed the base of a fermented beverage called powcohicora.

As a salute to the pecan’s indigenous heritage, many pecan varieties are named after Native American tribes, such as Cheyenne, Sioux, Apache, Osage, Pawnee, Mohawk, Kiowa and Choctaw.

Thomas Jefferson planted the trees at his beloved Monticello. In 1865, they became popular in the North when Union soldiers carried them home after the Civil War.
Powcohicora beverage

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