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Sautauthig: Blueberries Served Before The Pilgrims

A Blueberry Favorite At The First Thanksgiving?

If you are wondering how native North Americans might have used blueberries after the season passed, make Sautauthig. Although the original North Americans may have cooked Sautauthig during the summer when fresh blueberries were available, it is known that this was a common way to prepared dried blueberries.

A Recipe For Sautauthig Then and Now

A favorite dish of the Native Americans during colonial times was Sautauthig (pronounced sawí-taw-teeg), a simple pudding made with dried, crushed blueberries, dried, cracked corn (or samp), and water. Later, the settlers added milk, butter and sugar when they were available. The Pilgrims loved Sautauthig and many historians believe that it was part of the first Thanksgiving feast.

Here’s a recipe that gives us an idea of what Sautauthig tasted like. We call it Cornmeal Blueberry Mush but you can give it any name you want.


1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup cornmeal or quick cooking grits
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
2 cups fresh, frozen or canned blueberries or 1/2 cup dried blueberries (see note)

– In a 2-quart saucepan heat water and milk until bubbles form around edge of pan.
Stirring constantly, slowly add cornmeal or grits and salt until well combined.
– Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
– Stir in maple syrup or honey until well combined.
– Gently stir in blueberries.

Yield: about 6 regular servings or 12 tasting-sized servings (about 4 3/4 cups)

NOTE: Today, we don’t have to pick and dry blueberries in the summer to enjoy them year round. We can always find them in our local supermarket –either fresh, frozen or canned, sometimes even dried. If you are using frozen blueberries in this recipe, defrost them between 2 layers of paper towels to absorb excess liquid. If you are using canned blueberries, drain well. Fresh or frozen blueberries can be dried on a cookie sheet in a 250 degrees F oven for about 1-1/2 hours.

This article, including the recipe, is excerpted from a Student Activity article featured on the North American Blueberry Council website (http://blueberry.org). It is re-published with permission. (4.11.2013)

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