I decided to look up Frybread in the dictionary today and was suprised to find that most online dictionaries don’t have a single entry for the word. Bannock, however, is easy to find, but its definition is not what I expected.
1. A flat, usually unleavened bread made of oatmeal or barley flour.
2. Northern U.S., especially New England Thin cornbread baked on a griddle.
Cornbread from New England? What?
Oxford Dictionary states:
a round, flat loaf, typically unleavened, associated with Scotland and northern England.
Now Old England?
I’ve never heard of Scottish or English bannock before, and I use “frybread” so freely in my vocabularly that I never considered it wasn’t a “real word”.
Nowhere in my dictionary search did I find mention of bannock or frybread being part of Native culture, until I tried Wikipedia:
Frybread has a significant role in Native American cultures. It is often served both at home and at gatherings.
Okay, that’s a good start. But considering different nations/everyone’s auntie have their own spin on frybread, it seems there should be a lengthier description. How about adding that frybread only came about because of displacement and colonization? When imprisoned Indigenous peoples were given little more than flour and lard to eat, they made frybread. The means for survival later became one of Turtle Island’s most celebrated foods and today, a cultural cornerstone.
Which brings me to what #FrybreadFriday is all about – what we love about the stuff.
So who needs the dictionaries – Frybread by any other-not-found-in-the-dictionary-word, will still taste as sweet.
(or salty, or spicy…)