New Mexican cuisine — characterized by dishes heavy in beans, corn and chile — is largely influenced by Native Pueblo Indian culture. At the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque you can learn about Native dishes and sample some for yourself in their Pueblo Harvest Cafe. You’ll find many dishes incorporating the Three Sisters — corn, beans and squash — which play an important role in the diet of the Native American with the corn providing the carbohydrates, the beans acting as the protein and the squash providing Vitamin A. The dish in the above photo, “Chackewe con Huevos,” features blue cornmeal mush, a very traditional staple that provides many vitamins and minerals, such as zinc which can be difficult to find in foods. Many Native Pueblo Indians will add juniper ash to the mush to make it easier to digest. In Chackewe con Huevos, blue cornmeal mush is topped with traditional carne adovada (chopped pork cooked in red chile sauce), two eggs, cheddar cheese and diced tomatoes. Other traditional Native Pueblo Indian dishes you may find on the menu include atole, a blue cornmeal porridge; traditional fry bread; green chile stew; and calabacitas, a dish of mainly squash, corn and peppers.
Food, wine & culture for the ethical traveler