Tag: old west

History’s Chocolate Lovers

Written by Sam’l Arnold and excerpted from Eating Up the Santa Fe Trail.

Tablets or slabs of chocolate have been cherished by New Mexican chocolate fanciers for nearly four centuries. In probate inventories, slabs of chocolate were listed among the estate assets of New Mexicans as early as the 17th century. Shortly after the Spanish invasion of Mexico in the early 16th century, Fray Bernardino de Sahagun listed orange, black and white chocolate, sometimes mixed with sweetening or … Read the entire post >

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Strange Eats of the Old West

Written by Sam’l Arnold and excerpted from Shinin’ Times at The Fort

As the mountain men commonly said, “Meat’s meat, howsomever [sic] what kind, as long as it’s meat!” Learn more about the rather interesting types of meat consumed by fur traders and trappers, mountain men, travelers and American Indians alike during the mid-19th century.

Buffalo Tongue

Considered a holy meat by the Indians, buffalo tongue was thought by many to be the greatest gourmet delicacy of 19thRead the entire post >

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A Short History of a Big Animal

Written by Sam’l Arnold and excerpted from Shinin’ Times at The Fort

The last bison east of the Appalachians was killed in about 1830, although by that time, the great herds of the plains had hardly been touched by the relatively few American Indians living there. Colorado, for example, was believed to be home to fewer than eight thousand American Indians, and these were small bands of the Cheyenne, Sioux, Arapaho, Lakota and Ute tribes. Here, bison were far from … Read the entire post >

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A Glowing Christmas Tradition

A lovely Christmas tradition in New Mexico is the use of farolitos. Instead of a Christmas tree, farolitos, or “little lanterns,” are lit to usher in the holiday season. These paper bags filled with sand and a candle are place along walks, around porches or on the roof lines of a building, shining a cheery yellow light into the chilly night.

Many people mistakenly call farolitos “luminarias.” In fact, luminarias are stacks of pitch pine, piled in … Read the entire post >

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Old Forts of the American West

As settlers moved west in the 19th century, forts were established for a variety of reasons. Some were built on the basis of anticipated use for protection, others as a way to protect commerce along the trails. Contrary to popular belief, however, most American west forts weren’t built to protect the settlers from Indians. They were instead built as a way to maintain peace across tribes, as well as between American Indians and emigrants.

While some of the original … Read the entire post >

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