The African-American Kitchen : Cooking from Our Heritage
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From the gumbos of Louisiana to the Carolina rice islands, from the introduction of pasta to the rise of the ubiquitous peanut, African-American cooks have placed an indelible stamp on American food. Angela Shelf Medearis has collected more than 250 treasured recipes, including native African dishes, Caribbean-influenced foods, Southern and soul food staples, and contemporary favorites, all testifying to the exciting variety of this abundant tradition. From Africa come Ghanaian Kelewele, (spicy plantain fritters) and Ethiopian Yemiser Selatta, a lentil salad. From the Caribbean, Jamaican Stamp and Go codfish cakes and Haitian Griots, savory marinated chunks of pork. Out of the slave quarters and plantation kitchens where African cooks presided, we get Hoppin' John, Ham with Red-Eye Gravy, Beaten Biscuits, and Peach Cobbler. For holidays and celebrations, there are special menus including Kwanzaa Blessing Soup and Christmas Molasses Taffy, as well as time-honored treats from church socials and family reunions like Picnic Potato Salad, Raisin-Pecan Pie, and much, much more. The text is enlivened with African and Southern sayings, quotations from 19th-century cooks' manuals, and personal and family reminiscences, all bringing the rich African-American culinary heritage to life. The African-American Kitchen is packed with the traditions of generations of cooks who have always created and preserved their culture through food and the families it nourishes. More than a cookbook, it is a living history and a loving testament of pride.