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.