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Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) Paperback – June 9, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

[An] elegant, detailed history... Highly recommended.

(Choice)

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 1900-01-00)

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 1900-01-00)
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Product Details

  • Series: Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (June 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231146396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231146395
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Fred Opie is a Professor of History and Foodways at Babson College. Opie writes, "I loves to cook so much that when I was dating my wife, I asked her for a prenuptial agreement allowing me to be the designated cook in our home! Cooking allows me to unwind and create." Fred Opie is a contributor on the radio show The Splendid Table and the editor of the blog foodasalens.com which features food history, photos, and recipes. In 2014 Opie started a production company. He is the co-producer and host of the first food program, with filming started in 2015. To learn more about him including is videos and posdcast, visit http://www.fredopie.com

About his books:
Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food: Recipes, Remedies and Simple Pleasures published in 2015, delves into Hurston's writing on everyday meals and special occasions and looks at what shaped people's eating traditions in early twentieth century Florida. Hurston did for Florida what William Faulkner did for Mississippi--provided insight into a state's history and culture through various styles of writing and contributed to a larger southern canon. The book is essential reading for those who love history, cooking, and eating.

Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black and Latino Coalitions in New York City From Protest to Public Office published in 2014 looks at the history of black-Latino coalitions in New York City during the years of 1959 to 1989. This is a story which highlights largely unknown agents of historic change in the city and the noted politicians, political strategist, and union leaders whose careers are built on this history. It is a story that delves into the role that food plays in social movements with representative recipes from the U. S. south and the Caribbean planted throughout.

Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America is a brief history of the culinary contributions of people of African descent to Brazil, the Caribbean, and the United States. It draws on a wide range of sources, including archive material and interviews to show how food can be a lens to learn about status, tradition, and imagined ethnic identities.

Black Labor Migration in Caribbean Guatemala, 1882-1923, is a history working-class organizing and protest among black immigrant and Latin American groups in the Caribbean basin banana industry. It's also the first social history of the United Fruit Company in Guatemala since Charles Kepner's pioneering work published in 1936.

Lacrosse:
Fred Opie played lacrosse at Syracuse University and won a World Championship with the US Men's National Lacrosse Team in Perth, Australia (1990). He has served on the Board of Directors of US Lacrosse, he is a member the Metro Lacrosse Board of Directors, coaches youth lacrosse, and share his experiences and insights of the game on his lacrosse blog.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sean Higgins on October 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book immensely! I found that it gave excellent detail on the origins of soul food and tied it nicely from colonial America to modern day America. This book filled in the historical holes that I have found in the Food Network, Discovery Channel etc... programs about soul food and Southern cooking.

The book is both a scholarly work as well as an entertaining read. I have no doubt that Dr. Opie will add "Best Selling Author" to his resume of accomplishments.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peggy F. Aarlien on November 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
Food scholar Frederick Douglass Opie asserts in Hog and Hominy that soul food is without a doubt an American expression that stems from an amalgamation of the different African foodways and was transported from across Africa to the Americas. Opie meticulously traces the development of the soul food history from its roots, to its re-invention in the 1960s and 1970s, and finally to today's health consciousness that implicates traditional soul food cuisine an unhealthy practice. In so doing, Opie's calls into question the traditional folklore surrounding American soul food and helps the reader understand this apparently "simple concept" of soul food justifiably more as a complex and intriguing "academic field" in food studies.

Hog and Hominy begins with the Atlantic world foodways exchange--yams, rice, stews, fried chicken, cornbread, and the use of fat--between the West African and Iberian cultures that soon finds its way aboard the Portuguese trade ships. Here the book also notes how food is identified with religious observances and special occasions that become later evidenced in American culture. The book then traces the transatlantic foodways to a confluence of Caribbean, British, Native American (especially in Virginia and Carolinas) cultures that influenced the cooking done by enslaved Africans and later freed African American slaves. With the Great Migration, where millions of African Americans left the antebellum plantation world, the book then moves from the South to the North. Here, briefly discussed is the memory of southern roots placed within the parameters of an "endurance foodways" effected from the days of the depression and the Jim Crow culture. The book then diverges into 1960s and 1970s movements where the term "soul food" received its name.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Maxwell on September 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this for my Food and Identity in U. S. History class. It's a brief but informative look on the history of soul food and how it arrived in the colonies from Africa, influencing and being influenced by several ethnic foodways.
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