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Colonial New England Food & Cooking Lesson

In this Colonial times lesson, students learn about the methods of preparation and the types of food eaten by the Pilgrims.
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Please Note: this material was created for use in a classroom, but can be easily modified for homeschooling use.

Objective

Students will learn about the foods available to the Pilgrims.

Materials

Procedure

  1. Pass out the handout and worksheet and allow students time to read the information and complete the worksheet. (Answers are given below.)
    • Three earliest foods: corn, pumpkin, beans
    • Meats: deer, duck, turkey, rabbit, goose, pigeon
    • Seafood: lobster, clams, oysters, cod fish
    • Breads: cheate, cornbread
    • Vegetables: onions, artichokes, carrots, turnips, cabbage, beets
    • Fruits: blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, apples
    • Nuts: walnuts, chestnuts, hickory nuts
    • Desserts: Indian pudding, pumpkin pie
    • Sweeteners: molasses, maple syrup
    • Common meat dish: New England boiled dinner
    • Common seafood dish: fish chowder
  2. When students have finished, conduct a class discussion about the basics of New England cooking.

Extension Activity: Encourage students to collectively develop a New England cookbook. Divide classes into pairs or groups and assign specific topics to each group. Appropriate topics include: Soups, Breads, Vegetables, Seafood, Meats, and Desserts.

Note: The emphasis of this writing revolves around the foods of the early settlers in Massachusetts. Students can expand the cookbook to include cuisine from all the New England states. After they have collected and submitted their recipes, duplicate them and let each student organize a cookbook of his or her own.