ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - When Brandon Johnson was little, he remembers attending pow wows and eating fry bread.
"It's been around my whole life," Johnson said. "Whenever you get a bunch of Natives together, we need to make Indian tacos, it's just part of the cultural thing. ... You'd go look in the back of the kitchen and there's all these old ladies just patting out fry bread. ... When you look back, in my mind, them feeding probably 500, 600 people it's like, wow, in such a short amount of time, they definitely had it down."
The co-owner of The Brass Kettle now makes fry bread regularly. Indian tacos are a quick lunch menu item about once a month.
There aren't too many foods that are universally recognized as Native American, but fry bread is one of them.
"There pretty much isn't anyone I know that doesn't like an Indian taco," he told the Aberdeen American News. "It's comfort food. It's fried dough with taco meat and however you like your fixings on it."
It's a food that can be found in Native communities across the country.
"Down in the Southwest they call them Navajo tacos," Johnson said. "It has a few different names."
A lot of people make fry bread with frozen bread dough - they let it thaw and shape it into the round, flat disks before dropping it into piping hot oil. But Johnson said he wanted to figure out this dough from scratch.
"When we started doing them here is when I started - I had to learn and study and put on my baker hat and go back - because I've had so much fry bread in my life, and you learn how to interpret it a different way," he said. "It's light and it's fluffy and I love it. It's something that I hold very dearly to me."
He describes his dough as a savory yeast doughnut. The fluffiness of the fry bread is because the dough is so wet, Johnson said.
One of his dreams is to take this recipe down to the world fry bread championships in Oklahoma, Johnson said. Just for fun, even.
The Indian tacos at The Brass Kettle have been named by Only In Your State - a travel website of sorts - as some of the best in the state.
Bringing this dish to the people of Aberdeen on a regular basis is something Johnson said he's happy to do.
"We need to continue to make these things, or else we're gonna lose it," he said. "With any kind of food, it's a lot better making it homemade than buying it in a store."
Information from: Aberdeen American News