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The History of Soul Food and its
connection with African Americans.
By: kae middleton
Where does the term soul food
come from.
• In the early 1960s the term “Soulfood” widely emerges in
African American culture as a way for them to identify with
their cultural aesthetics.
• In the 1960s African Americans rights and Black
Nationalism movements are on the rise. Many African
Americans sought to re-claim their part of the American
cultural legacy.
• As terms like “soul brother,” “soul sister” and “soul music”
were taking hold; it was only natural that the term “soul
food” would be used to describe the recipes that African
Americans had been cooking for generations.
- Kae
Middleton, Nov 16.
• Traditional Southern African American Cuisine
• This style of cooking originated from African
American slave cooking.
• African slaves were given only the "leftover" and
"undesirable" cuts of meat from their masters (while
the slave owners got the meatiest cuts of ham,
roasts, etc.).
Brief History
• Goes back to “hog killing time” with emphasis
on eating all parts of the pig. And, it was
based upon economy, whatever was at hand.
• fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden or
fresh buttermilk delivered by the family cow.
• Uses of spices, hot sauces, and peppers
FOOD Diasporas
Southern food, often perceived as the quintessential American cuisine,
is actually derived from a complex blend of European, Native
American, and African origins that found realization in the hands of
enslaved people.
While Southern food has evolved from sources and cultures of diverse
regions, classes, races, and ethnicities, African and African American
slaves have one of the strongest yet least recognized roles
For enslaved people, cooking was about culture and community as
much it was about survival. Through the horrors of the Middle Passage
and bondage in North America, generations of slaves preserved and
created culinary traditions that remain strong today.
Southern food reminds African Americans of our ancestors and the
struggle so it is made with love and done from the heart – soul food
You may be wondering what's the difference
between the two or three.
They are the same things however, soul food
typically describes the foods that originate
through slaves or are heavily influenced from
them. May have Jamaican, Cuban, and creole
influences depending on the cook.
It’s the spice and vibe that set it apart from
country cooking.
Your Invited to
Kae’s soul food café!
On the menu we have
everything to feed
your SOUL
Biscuits (a shortbread similar to scones, commonly served with butter, jam,
jelly, sorghum or cane syrup, or gravy; used to wipe up, or "sop," liquids
from a dish).
Black-eyed peas (cooked separately or with rice, as hoppin' john).
Butter beans (immature lima beans, usually cooked in butter).
Catfish (dredged in seasoned cornbread and fried). Chicken (often fried
with cornmeal breading or seasoned flour).
Chicken livers.
Chitterlings or chitlins: (the cleaned and prepared intestines of hogs, slowcooked and often eaten with vinegar and hot sauce; sometimes parboiled,
then battered and fried).
Chow-chow (a spicy, homemade pickle relish sometimes made with okra,
corn, cabbage, green tomatoes and other vegetables; commonly used to
top black-eyed peas and otherwise as a condiment and side dish).
Collard greens (usually cooked with ham hocks, often combined with other
Cornbread (short bread often baked in an iron skillet, sometimes seasoned
with bacon fat). Chicken fried steak (beef deep fried in flour or batter,
usually served with gravy).
Cracklings': (commonly known as pork rinds and sometimes added to
cornbread batter).
Fatback (fatty, cured, salted pork used to season meats and vegetables).
Fried fish: (any of several varieties of fish whiting, catfish, porgies, bluegills
dredged in seasoned cornmeal and deep fried).
Fried ice cream: (Ice cream deep frozen and coated with cookies and fried).
Grits, often served with fish.
Ham hocks (smoked, used to flavor vegetables and legumes).
Menu Continued
Hog maws (or hog jowls, sliced and usually cooked with
Hot sauce (a condiment of cayenne peppers, vinegar, salt, garlic
and other spices often used on chitterlings, fried chicken and fish
not the same as "Tabasco sauce", which has heat, but little flavor).
Lima beans (see butter beans).
Macaroni and cheese.
Mashed potatoes (usually with butter and condensed milk).
Meatloaf (typically with brown gravy).
Milk and bread (a "po' folks' dessert-in-a-glass" of slightly
crumbled cornbread, buttermilk and sugar).
Mustard greens (usually cooked with ham hocks, often
combined with other greens).
Neck bones (beef neck bones seasoned and slow cooked). Okra:
(African vegetable eaten fried in cornmeal or stewed, often with
tomatoes, corn, onions and hot peppers).
Pigs' feet: (slow-cooked like chitterlings, sometimes pickled and,
like chitterlings, often eaten with vinegar and hot sauce).
Red beans.
Ribs (usually pork, but can also be beef ribs).
Rice (usually served with red beans).
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoWjet8
Fats…. I meant FACTS
• Obesity
African-Americans are disproportionately affected by obesity. Among non-Hispanic blacks age 20
and older, 63 percent of men and 77 percent of women are overweight or obese.
• Diabetes
African-Americans are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. In fact,
about 15 percent of all African-Americans age 20 and older have the disease.
• High blood pressure
The prevalence of high blood pressure in African-Americans is the highest in the world. Also
known as hypertension, high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, and
it can cause permanent damage to the heart before you even notice any symptoms, that's why it
is often referred to as the "silent killer." Not only is HBP more severe in blacks than whites, but it
also develops earlier in life.
*Research suggests African-Americans may carry a gene that makes them more salt sensitive,
increasing the risk of high blood pressure. Your healthcare provider can help you find the right
medication, and lifestyle changes can also have a big impact.
Don’t blame it on soul food
Blaming soul food for all
cardiovascular diseases in the
African American community on the
18th day of november in the year 2014
• This food was originally eaten by slaves who
worked sun up to sun down!
• So you must exercise in order to stay healthy
while consuming “Soul Food”.
Cutting Back
• When preparing these foods attempt to use less
fatting or salty items.
• Try to prepare it from scratch as much as
• It never hurt to eat half portions
• Examples: Add turkey meat when roasting your
vegetables instead of ham or add roasted
tomatoes afterwards.
• Instead of buying your biscuits you could make it
naturally from scratch.
Summary: This film focuses on a family in the 1990s,
held together by the affectionate Mama Joe. Every
Sunday she makes the family get together for dinner.
She and her three daughters prepare the meal.
Unfortunately, Mama Joe slips into a diabetic coma and
the 40-year tradition comes to an end. Without the
attentions of Mama Joe, the family slowly begins to
come apart. Lem cannot find a job, and eventually
becomes enraged with his wife Bird when he finds out
how she got him a job. Terri, furious with Lem because
she thinks he attacked Bird, has a goon beat him up.
Lem eventually winds up in jail. Terri's husband Miles
has an affair with her cousin Faith. This leads to a
rather funny scene in which Terri first chases her
husband with a butcher knife and then Faith while they
are all at a party. Mama Joe dies and Terri decides to
sell Mama Joe's house against the wishes of her family.
In order to reunite the family Ahmed lures the family
back to Mama Joe's for a Sunday dinner.
For me “soul food” is Food For the Soul
• behind that name is a whole vibe, a lifestyle, a world. When I
walk into a soul food restaurant — whether it's Rudean's, with
Tavares' "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel" on the jukebox,
or the Pink Teacup, with D'Angelo's "Brown Sugar" playing —
I'm entering a warm, loving, totally unpretentious world
where I know I'll be cared for and well fed. Not that I wouldn't
be cared for and well fed at the little country diner with
George Jones and Alan Jackson in the rotation: similar food,
slightly different vibe, same down-to-earth folk — like the
difference between soul and country music.- Mark Kemp
Work cited
A film by Byron Hurt. Soul Food Junkies is a co-production of God Bless the Child Productions, LLC and the
Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with the National Black Programming Consortium
(NBPC), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
"Soul Food" a Brief History." Welcome To The Black Box, Personal Narratives in High Definition. N.p., n.d.
Web. 29 Nov. 2014.
Lynn, Andrea. "Soul Food – History and Definition." Aboutfood. N.p., 2014. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
Whitey, Micheal. "Soul Food's Contested History." The American Prospect. N.p., 31 Oct. 2013. Web. 30
Nov. 2014.
LaBelle, Patti, and Laura Randolph. Lancaster. LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing about. New York: Broadway,
1999. Print
LaBelle, Patti, and Laura Randolph. Lancaster. Patti LaBelle's Lite Cuisine: Over 100 Dishes with To-die-for
Taste Made with To-live-for Recipes. New York: Gotham, 2003. Print.’
Henderson, L. "Ebony Jr! and "Soul Food": The Construction of Middle-Class African American Identity
through the Use of Traditional Southern Foodways." MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States
32.4 (2007): 81-97. Web.
Nettles, Kimberly D. "Saving Soul Food." Gastronomica 7.3 (2007): 106-13. JSTOR. Web. 30 Nov. 2014
Porter, William. "Soul Food: Denver Author Adrian Miller Busts Myths, Shares Recipes." - The Denver Post.
N.p., 7 Sept. 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2014
Bliburg, Larry. USA TODAY. N.p., 1 Nov. 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2014. The best places one can eat some
excellent soul food