Soul Food

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When you think of soul food what is the first thing to come to mind? I think of southern foods as flavorful spicy foods like gumbo or jambalaya. Soul food has been around since the slave days and is described as a type of foods that are associated with African-American culture in the southern United States. Soul food recipes were typically a reflection of the chef’s creativity, after the abolition of slavery, most African Americans lived in poverty, so recipes continued to make use of cheaper ingredients. Of course, this isn’t entirely a black/white issue. Historically, there hasn’t been much of a difference between the foods eaten by poor black Southerners and poor white Southerners. They usually used meats like chicken, liver etc. newly freed slaves used this type of cooking to their advantage because they didn’t have much money to live with. Since slaves weren’t aloud to read or write, recipes were passed down orally for several generations. There were no widely distributed soul food cookbooks until the late 1960s and early 1970s. Around the 60s and 70s black-owned soul food restaurants began to appear in New Orleans, Birmingham, and other southern cities. presently soul food restaurants from fried chicken and fish "shacks" to upscale dining establishments-are in every African-American community in the nation, especially in cities with large black populations, such as Chicago, New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Washington, DC . Over centuries, soul food has been cooked and seasoned with pork products, and fried dishes are usually cooked with hydrogenated vegetable oil like Crisco which is a trans fat. Unfortunately, regular consumption of these ingredients without significant exercise or activity to work the calories off often contributes to disproportionately high occurrences of obesity, hypertension, cardiac/circulatory problems and/or diabetes. It has also been a factor in African-Americans often having a shortened lifespan. More modern methods of...
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