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High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America Hardcover – January 4, 2011
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“Absorbing…Ms. Harris has an eye for detail and an inquisitive manner on the page, qualities that take any writer a long way.” ―Dwight Garner, New York Times
“Harris covers a lot of territory economically, offering a tremendous cast of characters whose names deserve wider renown.” ―William Grimes, New York Times Book Review
“Our leading historian of African-American cooking continues her quest to trace the multiplicity of ways that American food has been enriched--and in many ways created--by the Africans who were forced to immigrate to North America and their descendents.” ―Vogue.com
“Anyone interested in food history will find plenty to savor in Jessica B. Harris's latest book.” ―Saveur Magazine
“A satisfying gumbo of info, insight and research.” ―USA Today
“[A]…passionate perspective on the culinary history of the African diaspora” ―Booklist
“There is more than enough for every taste in [High on the Hog]” ―Chicago Tribune
“Harris's flavorful writing moves with an effortless voice that you feel could recite most of these pages from loving memory. As much historical document as ethnography of a vital and rich gastronomy, High on the Hog is a book to make your mouth water.” ―Paste magazine
“Rejoice, all you lovers of the personal and inimitable voice of Jessica B. Harris. In High on the Hog, she has woven her own story into the epic of the African Diaspora, using food to illuminate the intertwined tapestries of Africa, Europe, and America. From General George Washington's black cook Hercules to New Orleans' famed Dooky Chase, she shows how important are the African underpinnings of the American table. Harris's passionate devotion to languages and history, together with her own compassion and wit, resonate with the humanity she espouses in all her books, but especially this one.” ―Betty Fussell, author of Raising Steaks and My Kitchen Wars
“High on the Hog is a sweeping yet intimate view of food in African American life and the profound influence of blacks on American food culture. It is unusually well crafted and written with style and grace. Harris is an engaging guide in this journey that begins in Africa and ends in the twenty-first century. Her personal vignettes provide vivid detail of her experiences at sites of historical importance to the subject. She has rescued from obscurity many historical figures who make for fascinating reading and demonstrate the great range and diversity of African American achievement in areas of food culture.” ―Charles Reagan Wilson, Kelly Gene Cook Sr. professor of history and southern studies, Center for the Study of Southern Culture
“In High on the Hog, the inimitable Jessica B. Harris tells the story of the African American diaspora from the perspective of an accomplished food historian. Food, she tells us, is a metaphor for society. If so, I can't think of a better one. From slave food to Taste of Ebony, this is a gripping saga laced with descriptions of food that will make your mouth water.” ―Marion Nestle, NYU professor and author of Food Politics and What to Eat
Top Customer Reviews
As can be expected from Jessica Harris, this book is meticulously researched and written with dashing prose. This is not a cookbook. In fact, there are only twenty-two recipes. Instead, Harris pulls together the cuisines of African, Caribbean, African American, European, and early American cooking. The book includes historical illustrations, a reading list, an annotated bibliography of selected African American cookbooks, and a thorough index.
I highly recommend this book. You will learn about black cooks in kitchens of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, the origins of the Philadelphia pepperpot and creole gumbo with its odd number of greens. Harris' book will inform you and leave you hungry and wanting more.
The author presents African and African-American foods from past, to present, to a hypothetical future in an eminently readable way, and weaves in her own personal experiences skillfully and relevantly. I was left with curiosity and more than a little envy as I want to learn more about the author and her life- how come she gets to visit her African motherland and all over the country/world? I so clearly need a job like hers!
Harris ably chronicles such things as visits by Europeans to African royal courts, the memoirs of the Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta, early slave narratives, etc. In the process of reading the work, readers will learn things they never knew before. Did you know that the rice cooking of Louisiana and the southern low country is based on the cooking of Senegal, that yam is really the name of an African tuber, that slave depots were owned and operated by wealthy mixed-race free women of color?Read more ›
High on the Hog is a history of foods and recipes,starting in Africa and continuing on to North America, passing on from generation to generation. Not only a culinary history of African Americans, but also a basic history lesson as well. The combination of stories of real people and personal experiences makes for a very interesting book.
Astute scrutiny of the subject might lead to a linking of offerings currently found on kitchen tables in the black community to their ancestral roots back on the continent.
High on the Hog is designed to feed your mind as much as your tummy, for it brilliantly combines an array of fascinating history lessons with some easy-to-follow, mouth-watering recipes.
Read the full review and more book reviews from AALBC.com on your Kindle Edition
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent, excellent, excellent! I loved this book. A lot of history I didn't learn in school. I'm getting ready to read a second time.Published 1 month ago by Alwaysalegend
Wonderful writing with much history from food, to cultural, to migration, and jobs--I would recommend this book to everyone.Published 4 months ago by Mark D. Wise
I'm sure this book was a very scholarly attempt to give a history of African cuisine in the United States. I just had a lot of trouble plowing through and keeping interested. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Helene Rottenberg
A wonderful book. Jessica Harris is an amazing culinary historian who provides a great context for understanding the history of food and food traditions. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Robert A. Bellinger
Purchased this book after having watched the Soul Food Junkies documentary on PBS.Published 18 months ago by dj>_
Jessica Harris's books are a delight and this one joins her others on the pantry shelf.Published on July 3, 2014 by TONY MORPHETT
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Makes each recipe more appealing plus the story and history. A must read for any student of cuisine history.Published on June 6, 2014 by Dennis Donnelly
Lots of reading. Very few recipes. But I learned a lot about the the history of the foods,which I believe the book is more about. Was hoping for more recipesPublished on March 29, 2014 by Judy M. House