When the cuisine of a culture relys so heavily on geographic location, what happens when the whole community is forced to move? This week's documentary from the Southern Foodways Alliance film series, entitled The River Bottom, features the Choctaw-Apache tribe of Ebarb, Louisiana, which has been coming to terms with this very challenge for decades.
After centuries of farming and living off 180,000 acres in the Louisiana river bottom, the Choctaw-Apache tribe was forced off its ancestral home in the 1960s to make room for the Toledo Bend Resovoir, a project that involved paying members of the tribe as little as $25 per acre for their homes and then flooding the area. The tribe was relocated, but in the move and subsequent era of readjustment, it has had to reckon with the loss of its old farming practice and the crops upon which its food traditions relied. Watch the video above to learn more.