The Inca of Peru used to preserve potatoes using a freeze-dry process. They put them on mountain terraces, and the solar radiation and extremely cold temperatures combined with the harvesters' trampling on them created a freeze-dried product that lasted indefinitely.
You can learn more about freeze-dried foods by clicking HERE
Native Americans made Root beer from Sassafras. Rootbeer predates colas and other popular sodas. During American Colonial times, root beer was introduced along with other beverages like Birch Beer, Sarsaparilla Beer, and Ginger Beer.
Make your own root beer
The American Indians have cured beef for many thousands of years. They let it sit under the sun so that it would stay edible for long trips or the winter time.
North American Indians used Spruce resin to quench thirst, and they also used it as a medicine. South and Central American Indians collected chicle from the Sapodilla tree to make gum.
Chocolate was given to the world by the Aztecs, Mayans, and Central American tribes. It is made from the seeds of the Cacao tree. Its name comes from the Aztec word "XOCOATL". Prior to the coming of Cortez, Europe had never heard of the product. Chocolate was originally served as a hot drink, and the beans were used as money.
Click here for the Mayan recipe for hot chocolate.
Vanilla was used by the Aztecs to flavor their chocolate drinks . It comes from the vanilla pods on the Tlilxochitl vine. The ancient Totonaco Indians of Mexico were the first to discover it. But they were made to hand it over when they were defeated by the Aztecs.
For more information on the history of vanilla, Click Here .
The original ingredients of Cracker Jack were popcorn, peanuts, and maple syrup. The popcorn used in Cracker Jack is also an invention of the East Coast Native Americans.
For more info on American Indian contributions, it is recommended that you visit http://www.kporterfield.com/aicttw/index.html to purchase The Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World.