Although the cooking of African Americans did not earn the sobriquet “soul food” until the advent of the Black Power movement of the 1960s, its origins stretch back to the very earliest days of colonial America. To survive, slaves transported from their native lands had to learn to cook with the leftover, less-desirable meats and vegetables that their overlords shunned. They combined these with memories of the foodstuffs of tropical West Africa. From these beginnings came a host of dishes that have become integral components of the larger American tradition. Historian Opie goes back to the sources and traces soul food’s development over the centuries. He shows how Southern slavery, segregation, and the Great Migration to the North’s urban areas all left their distinctive marks on today’s African American cuisine. He concludes that soul food has recently commenced a decline as Caribbean cooking has grown to dominate much of African American culinary practice. --Mark Knoblauch
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[An] elegant, detailed history... Highly recommended.
Hog and Hominy provides a definitive history of the grand social forces and unforgettable personalities that have revolutionized Africa American cooking since the twilight of the Jim Crow system.
(Andrew Warnes Gastronomica
Hog and Hominy contributes to understanding the important place of soul food in African American culture and of African American cuisine in the American melting pot.
(Carole Counihan Journal of American Ethnic History