Posted by blogadmin | Posted in African American Cuisine, Uncategorized | Posted on 11-06-2012
Soul food is an umbrella term often used for the cuisine that has evolved over the years among the diaspora of African natives who were initially brought to USA as slaves. The traffic of black slaves to America was a gradual process that took place over a period of nearly 240 years, and the new arrivals carried with them recipes from back home.
The cuisine underwent a phase of evolution in the new world, as the slaves experimented with traditional recipes using locally available condiments and also as cooking styles from different parts of Africa came in contact here in America and amalgamated to give rise to a new, minimalist style of cooking that had to make do with cheap (often wild) produce items and wild fowl.
Era 300 – 1619 – Soul Food-History
Between 300 -1619, the 1st group of Africans landed in America in Jamestown, Virginia. African American slaves were farmers, cattle raisers, and fishermen and presented several plants and seeds to plant such as black-eyed peas, okra, sweet sorghum, and watermelons as part of American’s crops and foods.
Slaves Made Their Foods – Soul Food-History
The slaves made their own meals from the leftovers that their masters did not eat. They frequently exchanged recipes orally with each other which led to the growth of African American cuisine. This was how many of their foods were collected for their meals.Although their love for cooking involved pork, sweet potatoes, collard greens, and spoon bread, breakfast was considered the most important meal of the day. A typical breakfast consisted of hoecakes and molasses.
Young Women Learned to Make Meals- Soul Food-History
They always interested in cooking. During that time in past history, little girls learned to prepare traditional foods such as fufu, which is made with fresh vegetables and pounded yams. Fufu was generally served with soup, stew, or roasted meat. The native foods were yams, vegetables, rice, and groundnuts. Africans were also extremely experienced in frying, roasting, cooking, boiling, and steaming their foodstuff. They also had special abilities preparing wild game, and planting small gardens including wild greens and fruit. Women generally worked 16 to 18 hours in the fields then prepared one-pot foods for their family.
Cooking Procedures and Techniques – Soul Food-History
Cooking was generally done on open pits or fireplaces with big swing black pots and large iron cast skillets and were well prepared by black cooks. Cooking on open pits are now applied as grills.The slaves did not use calculating cups or cooking products. They had no recipe books or formal coaching in cooking. They had no one to learn from except each other.It was a great challenge for them to make good food with basic tools and very minimal ingredients. Salt was also used as a preservative since there were no fridge or other techniques to preserve meals cool.
When examining their food for doneness, they applied their own senses, and when they sensed the need, they included a pinch of seasoning to enhance the taste of their dish. They knew by their instinct when their food was done as many chefs know today. That’s also why you see many recipes that read “a pinch of salt and pepper” or “bake until finally golden brown.”Cajun and Creole were also a familiar style of food preparation and involved such well-known dishes as jambalaya, bread pudding, desserts, dirty rice, gumbo, and red beans and rice.During that time in history, black cooks vocally exchanged recipes as they kept in mind them and today many Southerners still cook without having a recipe, just by basically remembering key ingredients and including seasonings and spices to their taste cattle During these hard and hard times, they used their own cooking food habits and methods and created many new ones along the way.
Afro American Cuisine- Now Soul Food/Soul Food-History
In the 1960‘s, Southern-style food preparation by Black Americans was relabeled “Soul Food” in honor of black chefs who well prepared food during the slavery era. It was also a indication that these cooks introduced the way in the growth of African American dishes – now soul food.Today, people from all walks of life, young old, enjoy soul food cuisine. Soul food is also well prepared in many houses in America for family events and special parties. The basis for soul food was laid many years ago, and today, the custom lives on.For more interesting history creating events,