Gluten free fried chicken with a crunch but without the intestinal discomfort! ❤ the struggle is real and not at all wanted. My mother passed from colon cancer, my brother and his son have crohn's, and guess whose managing it med free through diet restrictions. 🙋🏽♀️ I thought everyone had stomach aches all the time… but I'm still a foody and I'm determined to make conch fridders, guava duff, and Jonny bread! (Caribbean food) my mom was haitian so I can make a great dairy free la bwee banan! (sp?)
Back in the late '80s I worked the late shift and lived in a neighborhood where the only place open when I got home was a soul food restaurant. I loved it, for the food, and the pool table, and everything else about it. I generally got the smothered steak or the ox tails, with beans & greens of course. Thought about trying the chitterlings but – and this surprised me since it's supposed to be poor-people food – it was the most expensive item on the menu, twice what everything else went for. Way too much to spend on something I was basically daring myself to eat. (Same reason I've never tried haggis.)
Chitterlings are once a year in my family on my moms side. Everything in moderation like Halle said. Yams were always cooked on holidays, BUT now sometimes my mom substitutes yams with butternut squash and cooks it the same way. Tastes the same as well!
As an Afro Latina, rice beans and meat are staples. So for my family of 5 (which includes 3 very hungry picky kids and their equally ravenous father) I bump up veg in my stews and beans while scaling back the meat. And on most days we just do it all without any animal products as a whole
Mustard and collard greens are still a semi-weekly staple with my family. Back-in-da-day my grandma would only cook think with some type of smoked pork or salt pork. But over the years my whole family has become more health and nutrition aware. So instead of using smoked and extremely oversalted pork, we use turkey and an array of spices to season our food.
In Venezuela we have a food called arepas. I think it's another example of black ingenuity meeting with (in this case South American) maize ubiquity. One time I was making them and my roommate from Ghana asked me what I was cooking. I told her the name and she did a double take because she thought I had said the Tri phrase for "something good!" Coincidence? Probably not. 😊 Another brilliant contribution to Venezuelan cuisine is the hallaca, traditional Christmas fare. They were born out of African slaves combining leftovers from the Spanish folk's holiday table, wrapping it all up in plantain leaves, and boiling it to cook. It's the best food I know of. I could live off of hallacas (and in fact tend to when the season starts)!
I had a delicious meal at a vegan Soul Food restaurant in Harlem NY. The protein (vegan catfish in my case) was actually quite good and not beany. We were on a day foliage trip from New England and had a long wait for a table followed by slow service. It was worth the wait. There were quite a few folks of European ancestry waiting for a table as well.
As Black Americans from New England, my family's cuisine was a fusion of codfish cakes, Boston Baked Beans, brown bread, and southern influences of fried chicken, Hoppin John, greens and dare I say pig feet. The southern influences tended to come out for holidays, For instance, our Thanksgiving "starch" was baked macaroni instead of mashed potatoes. We DEFINITELY ate sweet potato pie not pumpkin. We LOVE the local seafood such as mackerel (most fishing folks throw these back), steamed clams, lobster, and shad roe. My way back ancestors migrated north from Low Country South Carolina and it seems we inherited seafood primacy from there. The Nation of Islam was a HUGE influence in our lives in the fifties and early sixties so there was a lot of pork shaming and bean pies substituting for sweet potato pie.
Many, many dishes of enslaved Africans are no longer commonly cooked. Of course you also have to include that some of the problem is we didn't live in the same regions. So even in the USA enslaved Africans didn't eat the same things. When many left the south, we gained many things, but lost a few others. I hate when people say soul food is fatty and unhealthy. Our ancestors ate many vegetable based stews and soups. Unfortunately, those recipes just are not as popular today.
I get tired of hearing about the throway pieces of meat. It needs to be pointed out that these were offal (that which 'falls off' ie scraps. They were by no means trash or waste. And are not in most of southern Europe. Look at some of the staples of Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French cuisines. It was merely a time of abundance for anglo-americans and people became picky about what they ate. Considering the hatred/rivalry the English felt toward thes other world powers as well as with continental Germanic peoples, it is no wonder the trends changed upon the English plate. Anything to set themselves apart. I don't remember if it was actually part of the curriculum, but we sure learned this in school in Iowa, perhaps because it is essentially German America and much of the meat cuts are eaten within the more traditional communities?
We definitely should still eat soul food. It is a testament to our resilience, creativity, and ingenuity in the face of adversity. However, because our lifestyles have changed drastically, the food should too.
We can make the food healthier quite easily while still remaining reverent to its origins.
My dad taught at an “All Black Academy” in the early 70s. It was the only boarding school where we never ate in the dining hall because all the cook there fixed was soul food… I know they served chitlin’s at least once a week because that was THE WORST smell and it took over the entire campus. Other than the food (the picnics were always perfect… I remember that.), we loved living there so much. Many of the students were from the inner cities across the US and they had never been to a school that celebrated them. All of my father’s students were kind and respectful… and so grateful for the education. The school minister was the crazy, loving man from Nigeria, I think. (I was 7.) And the students came and hung out with my family for special occasions.
I didn’t mean to share so much… all I wanted to say was this was my introduction to soul food and even then, they made it very clear where this food came from. Many of the inner city students had never eaten it before.
Don't forget goat, and sorrell, fufu, jolof, and fish head and rabbit feet, and all of the other scraps of animals/fruits/veggies other African diasporans consume. I like yall, really I do, But this is very limited to Descendant of slavery culture. Please leave our Soul Food alone. As with everything, you do things in moderation.
I don't eat it on a regular basis, it's more of a holiday thing now and when I do, I'm more selective.We've kinda even back away from it now because the elders aren't here anymore so we're trying more healthy options but some things are still there like corn bread, sweet potatoes/sweet potato pie, greens, black eyed peas. Things like chitterlings and pig feet, nah, that's done lol. I'm not saying I'm woke because I'm pretty sure that's a trick. I'm trying to be more conscious and not let myself run on autopilot and get fed all the bad things we get fed just for the sake of making someone money at the top because that is what everything boils down to. Woke people don't even realize that, cause if some many people were actually conscious, being "woke" wouldn't be a thing to talk about. We would just realize what is going on instead of just going along with whatever. I hope that's not too confusing.
Here in Africa, macaroni and cheese is considered "white" food. Africans eat chicken but usually grilled or cooked over a fire (shisanyama). We eat cooked potato, amadumbes (similar to potato) spinach and pumpkin. Your American "soul food"certainly does not appear on African menus.
I can absolutely attest to the fact that a culture’s cuisine is central to its identities.
I am a white teacher, with a Caribbean family, that grew up in the south, and when I expressed knowledge of and appreciation for some soul food (collards and mac n cheese), some of my African American students were thrilled. It was so bizarre and unexpected, but I was so glad we were able to connect through food.
There are many divisions in my school due to the diversity, but food has been a way for our Latino, African, African American, and white students to bond. Respecting and sharing each other’s cuisines is a great way to build bridges and show we care.
My mom is Austrian but I'm a vegetarian. I make tempeh wiener schnitzel now whenever I make the dish rather than using veal or pork. When making Hungarian Goulash, I use the Gardein veggie beef tips rather than real beef. Or I will use mushrooms if I'm not in the mood for meat replacements. I've made stroganoff with mushrooms instead of beef, and other dishes with more veggies but same sauces as close to traditional as possible. My dad, despite being born and raised in the south, never made southern food so I got that from my friend's grandmother whenever I would go with her to visit. I love cornbread, collard greens, and grits but I make them all vegetarian style and my cornbread is never sweet like cake (I prefer to make it spicy). All in all, I still eat foods from what I grew up with but I also like to try out different things.
My family is from Belize. So just like Evelyn, I just mostly watched other people eat soul food and her tried it. It wasn’t until I visited my husbands family in Mississippi that I first tried black eyed peas, grits, collard greens, and various other foods. I grew up eating rice and beans, plantain, tamales and lots of fruits and vegetables. We’re all different, but the food is what makes us feel at home.
Just limit the starch, pasta, grains and sugar. Keep eating the meat. Plants can be difficult to digest and the nutrients are less bioavailable for absorption. Veganism also is a nutrient deficient diet. You have to take supplements to get the missing nutrients and to supplement the nutrients your body isn't fully absorbing.