Traditionally, people of the Cherokee Nation enjoyed a staple food diet that included the "three sisters," or corn, beans, potatoes and squash. Meat staples of the past were deer and turkey. Other foods incorporated into their diet are meals made with fish, plants and roots. Modern Cherokee people traditionally eat eggs, brown beans and wild onions, among other foods.
Among the most popular foods traditionally gathered during spring is wild onions. These onions are eaten raw or cooked. Onions are also used as a garnish. A common dish is wild onions and eggs. The Cherokee also enjoy blackberries and blueberries. Some Cherokee people include wild green beans and leafy plants, such as polk and watercress, in their diet. Another favorite food is crayfish, which resemble miniature lobsters.
Popcorn is a popular snack food long enjoyed by the Cherokee Nation. Cherokee Long Ear popcorn comes in an array of colors, including yellow, red, white, blue, black and purple. In addition to making a tasty snack, this type of popcorn is used in soups and ground into cornmeal. Colorful popcorn is also used for decorative purposes. Bean bread is a popular Cherokee recipe. Bean bread includes the dietary staples of cornmeal and brown beans.