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Where does soul food come from?

Black History Quiz is a weekly celebration of the contributions and achievements of Africans and the
Black History Quiz
Where does soul food come from?
By Jim Stroud • Issue #23 • View online
Black History Quiz is a weekly celebration of the contributions and achievements of Africans and the descendants of the diaspora in the United States and around the world. PLEASE SHARE this newsletter and help spread the word about a proud people and their cultures. New issues on Sundays and Thursdays at 6:00 pm EST.

The Origins of Soulfood
Every ethnic group has what it calls “soul food” - soothing, comfort food that brings back warm memories of family dinners. Today, in America, the term “soul food” simply means African-American cuisine. To fully understand the concept of “soul food,” you must learn the traditional foods of Africa. Many common American foods are indigenous to Africa. Grains, legumes, yams, sorghum, watermelon, pumpkin, okra, and leafy greens could be found as early as 4000 BC on the African continent. Eggplant, cucumber, onion and garlic are believed to be African in origin, while only a small number of fruits are grown on the continent: wild lemons, oranges, dates and figs.
Many culinary historians believe that in the beginning of the 14th century, around the time of early African exploration, European explorers brought their own food supplies and introduced them into the African diet. Foods such as turnips from Morocco and cabbage from Spain would play an important part in the history of African American cuisine.
As meat was used sparingly, the average African ate mostly a vegetarian diet, though seafood showed up often in stews served with a starch. Okra and native peppers were used as seasoning and salt as a preservative.
All that being said, can you guess what the typical African meal was?
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Black History Quiz Answer:
A common African meal consisted of rice, chicken and milk while the poorest Africans ate a type of couscous with leafy vegetables.
For further study:
The Real History of Soul Food: From Slavery to Modern Cuisine – Sticker Slap
An Illustrated History of Soul Food | First We Feast
How Slavery and African Food Traditions Shaped American Cooking
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Jim Stroud

Black History Quiz is a weekly celebration of the contributions and achievements of Africans and the descendants of the diaspora in the United States and around the world. PLEASE SHARE this newsletter and help spread the word about a proud people and their cultures. New issues on Sundays at 6:00 pm EST. | www.blackhistoryquiz.com

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