Apache Indians were hunters and gatherers who primarily ate buffalo, turkey, deer, elk, rabbits, foxes and other small game in addition to nuts, seeds and berries. They traveled from one place to another to search for food.
Men were responsible for hunting, and they used bows and arrows to kill their prey. Women were responsible for gathering nuts, fruits and vegetables and for preparing meals. The Apaches did not engage in farming, but they obtained corn through trade with the Pueblo tribes or the Spanish. They also confiscated it during raids. Apache people used it in cornbread and other recipes.
Although fish were plentiful, the Apaches did not consider fish as an appropriate food source. They regarded the consumption of certain items, such as fish, bugs, animals with scales and slimy creatures, as disgusting, and they refrained from eating them. The Apaches also refrained from eating animals that ate the foods they considered abhorrent, which included bears, dogs and pigs. Animals that ate plants and seeds were the only animals that were viewed as food sources by the Apaches, so mules, woodrats and field mice were on their menus. The Apaches passed down their recipes orally from one generation to the next.