Get back to Nature with the Mitsitam Café Cookbook

May 25, 2011, 9:23 am

Based on recipes from the Mitsitam Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., the cookbook will help you incorporate fresh, healthy and seasonal ingredients into tasty meals that are steeped in tradition.

“Mitsitam” means "let's eat" in the native language of the Piscataway and Delaware peoples, and the food at the Mitsitam Café has made it a destination in its own right. Drawing upon tribal culinary traditions from five regions—Northern Woodlands, Great Plains, North Pacific Coast, Mesoamerica, and South America—the cafe's offerings feature staples that were once unknown in the rest of the world in dishes such as Fennel Salad with Fig Vinaigrette, Cedar-Planked, Fire-Roasted Juniper Salmon and Cranberry Crisp.

A 1995 graduate of the Baltimore International Culinary College, author Richard Hetzler is the executive chef of the Mitsitam Café. His recipes are mouthwatering, serving to inspire home cooks to try out new recipes that incorporate traditional ingredients and methods.

Replete with beautiful photographs of the finished dishes as well as objects and archival photographs from the museum’s vast collections, The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook showcases the Americas' truly indigenous foods in 90 easy-to-follow, home-tested recipes. A glossary gives an overview of ingredients and provides tips on where to procure them.

The cookbook will quickly become a staple on our kitchen shelves, and we think it will on yours as well!

For more information, visit; or better yet, find out where to pick up a copy nearby at