Susan Swetnam

Food and Identity in Early Idaho

It’s been said that “you are what you eat,” and that was certainly true for three groups of early Idahoans: the northern Idaho Coeur d’Alene and Nez Perce Indians, the miners, and the agricultural pioneers. Although all lived in the same state, what they ate, how they prepared it, and what the food meant to them varied tremendously. That variation, this talk argues, reflects not simply taste, but important cultural differences among them. By describing the groups’ contrasting foodways, this talk invites listeners to think about how intimately eating practices in general are tied to cultural norms and values.