Chinook Olives

Hey, guys, sorry for the long delay in posting. I had to take a quick trip to the States to be in a wedding, which took up 150% of my time.

I found this story on @HistoryWeird's blog here. The original sources were Paul Kane's The Wanderings of an Artist among the Indians of North America, 1859, and The Canadian Journal, 1857.

"Paul Kane (1810-71) was an Irish-born artist who spent years living with and painting native tribespeople of Oregon and western Canada. He also kept detailed travel memoirs, which years later were published as The Wanderings of an Artist among the Indians of North America. Here Kane reluctantly describes a local delicacy known to other white settlers as 'Chinook olives' – or acorns pickled in human urine:

“'About a bushel of acorns are placed in a hole dug for the purpose, close to the entrance of the lodge or hut, and covered with a thin layer of grass [and] about half a foot of earth. Every member of the family for the next five or six months regards this hole as the special place of deposit for urine, which on no occasion is to be diverted from [this] legitimate receptacle. Even should a member of the family be sick and unable to reach it for this purpose, the fluid is collected and carried thither.'

"According to other sources, these 'Chinook olives' were rendered black by the pickling process, after which they were cooked in the ashes of a campfire. Those brave enough to sample them claimed they were soft with a chewy centre and possessed a pungent salty taste but a foul smell."

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