Montana Saloon Grill

Foods of the USA "Old West"

Old West Foods In The USA

I remember growing up with my granddaddy telling stories of how his family made it across country. They were pioneers, and according to him, a very hearty bunch. They wheeled across the wilderness through treacherous conditions, while dealing with illness, horrible weather, and while getting low on provisions.

We still keep up some of the food traditions from the pioneers and their counterparts, cowboys and ranchers. Sometimes they were at the mercy of whatever was available in their travels. It was squirrel or coyote, or beans if they were lucky.

Though many of those families obviously came from elsewhere. They brought with them the foods of home. Whether they originally came from another country, or if they were from the Southeast or Northeast, they brought regional foods with them. From the Creole out of Louisiana to the barbecue of Tennessee, the foods are as varied as the individuals who were going west to seek riches and promises of a better life.

We met a tourist from Baltimore who owns a roofing company (Four Seasons Roofing) and he was telling us that his family was from Russia and that his great grandfather was an original pioneer who came out to the old west. Once they arrived, he told me, he had a lot of trouble adapting to the foods that were around them. They could not go back 5000 miles to get their favorite foods from home. They had to rough it and live off of what was in season.

Looking for Old West Recipes

I’m looking to do some old fashioned cooking in the coming months. Specifically, I want to recreate some of the foods that were commonly served in the US in the “old west” period around the time of pioneers and gunslingers.

I understand that most of the foods had to be cooked with just a few ingredients and equipment. I have a dutch oven, frying pans, a boiler and I have, for my outdoor barbecue, a spit for roasting. These I believe are just what are needed to start making authentic Old West foods.

I already discovered that Missouri BBQ ribs are an old favorite. These sound a little complex to make for me at first. I’d like to start easy with something like beans and cornbread first.

I plan to make a whole event of a big Old West spread. I need tips for which sides, mains and desserts to focus on getting recipes for. I don’t know if anyone has really, really old authentic recipes or if the cooks back in those chuckwagon days basically made everything by heart. Either way, I am hoping to find a good selection of recipes to make a success of an Old West cookout..

Hello and welcome

Hello, and thanks for stopping by my blog. I just completed organizing my photos from our Montana trip last Fall, and it got me thinking about the old west and what foods they might have eaten. They couldn’t just ride their horse to the local drive through after all.

How can I explore foods of the USA “Old West”? This was a question posed to me by a cousin visiting from Eastern Europe recently. He had been planning to come see us for years, and eventually had enough money to come over and spend a few months. We loved having him, as I honestly never thought I’d see anyone from the village again when I married and moved over.

I faintly remembered my cousin being fascinated by the American Old West as a child, and it looks like that lasted into adulthood. I laughed when he asked, and told him it would not be such a problem. We live in Colorado, and there’s plenty of chances to taste the Old West around here, be it restaurants, tourist attractions, or even roadside diners that are supplied and even run by the ranch they sit on.

He and I hopped in a car and drove around for five days finding every place I could think of, and he enjoyed every food of the USA “Old West” he could possibly have the appetite for. He also bought everything he could, and by the time we got back to Denver, he looked and talked like a cowboy, albeit with a unique accent.

I am one of those parents who does not have a great deal of time to spend with their children. This is unfortunate, but I try to make the most out of it by helping out as much as I can. My daughter had a project due recently about the Old West, so I rolled up my sleeves and tried helping her with the research. I am glad I did this since it helped me learn so much along the way, It also gave us a bit of time to build a better mom/daughter bond.

The main thing I realized when looking up the food that they ate is the fact that they eat meats that are not found on dinner tables too often. I have never seen anyone nosh on squirrel at any point in my life. I am pretty open, but I do not think that is something I would ever try if given the opportunity. I also saw some information about eating raccoons. Apparently, people back then thought eating rodents was cool. I am so glad that I was not born in that era and forced to eat those kind of things in order to survive.