Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
April 22, 2000 - Issue 08

by Vicki Lockard from various sources

Modern Wojapi
Wojapi (Wo-zha-pee) A pudding, a dessert........ Wojapi is a classic Plains Indian dish that predates most of us living now. It was made with fresh wild berries collected during that season and also dried berries, preserved for use through the winter. The berries were mixed with sugar when it became available, and also flour. Today is a different time and Wojapi, like many other things, has adapted to the easy access of ingredients. However, it is just as delicious. It can be eaten after a meal as a dessert or as many "out there" know, as a main course maybe with a hot cup of coffee.........yum, yum!

WOJAPI (Wo zha pee)
5 lb. bag of frozen berrys (blueberry, raspberry, cherry or a mix)
8 cups of water
2 cups of sugar

To a 5 quart pot (enamel or stainless steel) add all the berries and smash them with a potato masher. (If you are fortunate enough to have a food processor this would work fine also. However, stop just short of puree, you want fine pieces throughout.)

To the smashed berries add the water and sugar. Boil (lightly) this mixture (Approximately 15 to 20 minutes) until everything is cooked. Thicken to desired thickness with cornstarch that has been dissolved in cold water.

Serve warm and eat with Indian Fry Bread. Dip the bread into the Wojapi and eat in this manner.

Traditional Wojapi:

Fruits--Wild Choke Cherry, plum, sand cherry, currant, buffalo berry, or grape. All wild, all found on the Great Plains.

Recipe: Ingredients -- Fruit, Wild Corn Flour, Honey

Mash fruit, boil pulp for about one hour at low heat, strain through a cheese cloth type cloth, (This first cut is used for fine jelly)

Boil again for an hour, remove seeds and half the pulp, add a white sauce of water and flour to boiling fruit and water. Thicken and add honey to taste. (This second cut is wojapi)

Crush seeds and remaining pulp, boil for hour. Strain juice and add thickener, salt and a small amount of wild honey. (this final cut is meat dressing or B-bQ sauce)

There you have it.

You can substitute corn starch for wild corn flour if you have to. Sugar or reg. honey for wild honey. Will taste different and won't be as natural or nutritious, though.

Please check out:

Gregg J. Bourland
"Eagles Watch Over Him"
Tribal Chairman, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

The Berry Site

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