Pohickory

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

pohickory a favourite drink of American Indians, prepared wherever hickory trees grew. According to Emerson (1908), Governor’s Island in the upper New York Bay was famous for its hickory nuts, which were of the shellbark kind and well suited to making pohickory:

The method pursued by the Indians in making pohickory was to pound the nut, shells and kernels, in a mortar with a proper amount of water until a milky liquor was produced, when it was ready for use. … The Indians of New England as well as of the South used it freely and plentifully, for owing to the nature of the nut, which could be kept for two or three years without deterioration, the beverage could be made at any season of the year.