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Soul food : the surprising story of an American cuisine, one plate at a time
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  Library Journal Review

While many aspects of African American culture have been embraced by the mainstream, Miller contends that soul food remains largely ignored, mostly owing to its unhealthy image. In an attempt to revamp its poor reputation, Miller offers up this comprehensive and entertaining history of soul food, tracing its evolution from its beginnings with slavery to the Great Migrations from the rural South. While different slaving systems led to subregional cuisines, such as Lowcountry, Creole, and Cajun, Miller focuses on the Deep South, or Black Belt, as the heart of soul food. Chapters are divided into the dishes most representative of the cuisine, including fried chicken, catfish, chitlins, cornbread, black-eyed peas, mac and cheese, Kool-Aid, banana pudding, and sweet potato pie. Consulting historical cookbooks and firsthand accounts of the enslaved and visiting soul food restaurants across the country, Miller discusses the evolution of each dish and explains why it has attained a permanent place in soul food cuisine. VERDICT A lively and thorough account for fans of food literature and of African American history. Recipes included. Highly recommended.-Melissa Stoeger, Deerfield P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award, Reference and Scholarship<br> <br> Honor Book for Nonfiction, Black Caucus of the American Library Association<br> <br> <br> <br> In this insightful and eclectic history, Adrian Miller delves into the influences, ingredients, and innovations that make up the soul food tradition. Focusing each chapter on the culinary and social history of one dish--such as fried chicken, chitlins, yams, greens, and "red drinks--Miller uncovers how it got on the soul food plate and what it means for African American culture and identity.<br> <br> Miller argues that the story is more complex and surprising than commonly thought. Four centuries in the making, and fusing European, Native American, and West African cuisines, soul food--in all its fried, pork-infused, and sugary glory--is but one aspect of African American culinary heritage. Miller discusses how soul food has become incorporated into American culture and explores its connections to identity politics, bad health raps, and healthier alternatives. This refreshing look at one of America's most celebrated, mythologized, and maligned cuisines is enriched by spirited sidebars, photographs, and twenty-two recipes.<br> <br>
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xiii
1What Is Soul Food?p. 1
2West Africa: The Culinary Sourcep. 11
3From Southern to Soulp. 29
4Fried Chicken and the Integration of Church and Platep. 49
5Catfish and Other Double Swimmersp. 70
6Chitlins: A Love Storyp. 91
7Black-Eyed Peas: What's Luck Got To Do With It?p. 111
8How Did Macaroni and Cheese Get So Black?p. 129
9Sometimes I Feel Like Motherless Greensp. 146
10Candied Yams: West African in Name, but Not in Tastep. 166
11Cornbread: Drop It Like It's Hot Bread!p. 186
12Hot Sauce: The Best Medicine Ever?p. 208
13What's Sweet, Red, and Drunk from a Jelly Jar? Hint: Liquid Soul!p. 222
14Give Me Some Sugar: The Glory of Soul Food Dessertsp. 240
15Whither Soul Food?p. 255
Notesp. 267
Bibliographyp. 285
Indexp. 311
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