Fields Spring State Park, Washington

Fields Spring State Park was a kouse gathering camp for Nez Perce. Kouse, in the Lomatium family, was an important staple in the Nez Perce diet. As the first root to be dug in the spring, the parsnip-like taste of fresh kouse must have been a welcome relief from the dried roots, dried salmon, and dried and fresh meat of the winter menu. The tuberous roots were gathered during April and May. The common method of preparation involved drying the roots, then grinding them into a meal. Mixed with water, the meal was then formed into cakes, and partly baked for storage. These cakes tasted like stale biscuits, giving the plant the name of biscuitroot.



The Nez Perce Flight to Canada - An Introduction

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