The new edition of Seaweed, Salmon, and Manzanita Cider, A California Indian Feast, was recently released by Heyday Books. My collaborator Rose Ramirez and my photographs of black oak acorns, chia seeds and flowers, pinyon pine trees and cones, rose hips and flowers, manzanita berries, Indian lettuce, and wild grape are used throughout the book. Our friends Acjachemen elder Minnie Tafoya is featured on the rose hips and pinyon pine pages, Luiseño Diania Caudell’s chia gruel and acorn (wiiwish) recipes are included, and Tongva elder Barbara Drake’s toasted chia candy recipe is featured as well.

This photograph of black oak acorns is featured inside and on the back cover of the book. The acorns are from a gathering trip to Palomar Mountain State Park three years ago with Diania Caudell, who is well known for her wiiwish recipe.

Starting with fish and then moving on through shellfish, meat, vegetables, fruits, flowers, nuts, seeds, and acorns,Seaweed, Salmon, and Manzanita Cider is a tour of the most authentically “local” food there is: Native American cuisine, in this case from the bountiful shores and slopes of California. Filled with photographs, essays, reminiscences, and recipes, this book offers an overview of the foods of Native California along with delicious details about the dishes and their preparation: seafood stew cooked on the beach, agave hearts roasted underground, and cakes made from the tiny seeds of the prolific red maids flower. Many of the recipes in Seaweed, Salmon, and Manzanita Cider appear in print for the first time here, offering glimpses of the past as well as straightforward information on the preparation of simple and sumptuous foods. —From the Heyday Books website

Posted by deborah small


  1. Hi Deborah, I am a member of the Dry Creek Bank of Pomo Indians and I recently visited the ‘Seaweed, Salmon and Manzanita Cider’ exhibit at the Haggin Museum in Stockton,CA. I just wanted to say that I love your photograph of black acorns. It is simple, yet beautiful. Your other photographs as lovely as well. Are your photographs found in any other Native American books?



  2. Hi Deborah
    I have really enjoyed looking over your blog, and I really appreciate the work you’re doing. Beautiful photos and inspiring work! Looking forward to meeting you folks in April!



  3. Hi Ryan,
    It is a fascinating book. The cider is non-alcoholic, at least the ones that I’ve tasted. Native people all over California use the berries, so they are using the different species of manzanita that grow in their areas.



  4. Sounds like a great book. Is manzanita cider alcoholic or non-alcoholic, and would it be a particular manzanita or any manzanita?



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