Above: Shop Indigenous ingredients at Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Photograph by Douglas Merriam.
GROWING UP ON THE NAVAJO NATION, Shane Smith says, traditional ingredients were rare enough to be used only for ceremonial events. These days, the manager of the Indian Pueblo Store, in Albuquerque, packs a few shelves with them. “During the pandemic, we sold a lot of Tamaya Blue [Santa Ana Pueblo] blue cornmeal on the web. That’s been a staple in New Mexico for a while. It went from being traditional to a statewide preference—in enchiladas, onion rings, all kinds of things.” (He likes to cook it into a porridge with raisins and agave nectar.) Some visitors to Indian Pueblo Kitchen—located, like the store, at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center—get their first taste of an unfamiliar ingredient and head straight to his shop to buy the fixings. “People are always trying out new recipes,” he says. “Traditional foods are becoming a style.”