August 17 is Nipmuc Heritage Day.
Celebrate it with a Nipmuc meal!
Staples of the Nipmuc Diet
corn wild fruitswild turkey deer beans shellfish duck maple sugar squash freshwater fish geese maple syrup
nuts eels rabbit
Salt was obtained from the coltsfoot plant which grows near water and in swampy land. The underside of the leaves are densely covered with fuzz. These leaves are packed into balls and allowed to dry. Once dry, they are burned and the resulting ash is quite salty. It is said that once you try this salt, you would never like the commercial grades.
Vinegar came from the sap, twigs and buds of the sugar maple or the birch. The sap was placed in the sun and allowed to ferment. Once fermented, the liquid was strained. It is said that when the 'vinegar fly' landed on the sap, it was ready for use.
What we know as the snow cone today was made by our ancestors. They gathered freshly fallen snow and poured maple syrup over the top.