I often say that you can find great recipe at food sites: products, regional farming, organizations, and more. This recipe is from Land O'Lakes. Land O'Lakes recently changed their logo from a kneeling Indian (Native American) woman to a bland brand logo, right before their 100th birthday.The Native American maiden that has been kneeling on the Minnesota company's butter and dairy packaging for nearly a century is disappearing. Read more about this and the controversy it sparked below.
DECADENT CHOCOLATE CUSTARD
1 cup Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream
1/3 cup milk
6 ounces high-quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
4 large Land O Lakes® Eggs (yolks only)
Place cream and milk in heavy 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture just comes to a boil. Immediately remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth.
Whisk yolks in bowl just to blend. Gradually whisk warm chocolate mixture into beaten yolks. Return chocolate mixture to same saucepan. Cook over medium heat 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and just begins to bubble. Do not boil.
Pour custard evenly among 6 (3-ounce) custard cups. Cool completely. Cover; chill 1 hour or until serving time.
Land O'Lakes President and CEO Beth Ford said in a news release that the company is repackaging its products as the company "looks toward our 100th anniversary." The company plans to add images of their farmer-owners "whose milk is used to produce Land O'Lakes products," Ford said.
"As a farmer-owned co-op, we strongly feel the need to better connect the men and women who grow our food with those who consume it," Ford said. "Our farmer-to-fork structure gives us a unique ability to bridge this divide."
Land O'Lakes was founded by a group of Minnesota dairy farmers in 1921, and the new packaging, which is already starting to show up in grocery stores, will be added to tub butter spreads, foodservice products, deli cheese and in the spring and summer on stick butter packages.
The Native American maiden, named Mia, first appeared on Land O'Lakes packaging in 1928, seven years after the Minnesota Cooperative Creameries Association was founded by 320 farmers in St. Paul. Arthur C. Hanson, who was the first illustrator for the ad firm Brown and Bigelow, came up with the original design evoking rural Minnesota with a blue lake, green pine trees, and a Native woman in a buckskin dress and feather headdress.
Since then, the packaging changed twice, once in 1939 and a second time in the 1950s when Patrick DesJarlait, an Ojibwe artist, was hired to revamp the depiction.
Native people have called the imagery racist, and that it goes "hand-in-hand with human and sex trafficking of our women and girls.... by depicting Native women as sex objects," according to Rep. Ruth Buffalo, D-Fargo, who is a registered member of the Mandan, Hidatsa Arikara Nation, and is from Fort Berthold Reservation.
But the son of the man who drew the Land O’Lakes butter label featuring a Native American woman has spoken out after the company removed the image following complaints of racism.
“My Native American father drew the Land O’Lakes maiden. She was never a stereotype,” a Washington Post opinion headline read this week. The opinion article contained Robert DesJarlait’s defense of his father, artist Patrick DesJarlait, following the company’s decision to remove the image and go in a different direction.
“I know the meaning of stereotypes,” DesJarlait said. “I participated in protests against mascots and logos using American Indian images in the early 1990s, including outside the Metrodome in Minneapolis when Washington’s team played the Buffalo Bills in the 1992 Super Bowl. In 1993, I wrote a booklet for the Anoka-Hennepin Indian Education Program about these stereotypes.”
“With the redesign, my father made Mia’s Native American connections more specific," he wrote. “He changed the beadwork designs on her dress by adding floral motifs that are common in Ojibwe art. He added two points of wooded shoreline to the lake that had often been depicted in the image’s background. It was a place any Red Lake tribal citizen would recognize as the Narrows, where Lower Red Lake and Upper Red Lake meet.”
DesJarlait also responded to a specific attack on his father’s art from a North Dakota state representative who said the Land O’Lakes maiden went “hand-in-hand with human and sex trafficking of our women and girls … by depicting Native women as sex objects.”
“How did Mia go from being a demure Native American woman on a lakeshore to a sex object tied to the trafficking of native women?”
DesJarlait asked. DesJarlait said he has frequently spoken out against Native American stereotypes during his life, and Mia didn’t fit the bill.
“Mia wasn’t one of them. Not because she was part of my father’s legacy as a commercial artist and I didn’t want to offend him. Mia simply didn’t fit the parameters of a stereotype," he said.
"Maybe that’s why many Native American women on social media have made it clear that they didn’t agree with those who viewed her as a romanticized and/or sexually objectified stereotype. Instead, Mia seems to have stirred a sense of remembrance and place, one that they found reassuring about their existence as Native American women.”