Soul Food

Topics: African American, Jazz, United States Pages: 2 (670 words) Published: June 16, 2013
Taylor Coleman
Professor McNamara
ENGL 1101
9 June 2013
A Culture Designed by Soul Food
As an African American, I believe their culture is represented not by one food, but is truly represented by a variety of foods. These foods are commonly known as soul food. According to Webster’s Dictionary, soul food is a variety of cuisine, traditionally popular in the African American culture. In the Coleman family, soul food is served randomly, through out the week, but it is known to be a Sunday ritual. It is an enormous meal that brings the family together and I believe it is key to keeping the family together.

Soul food has a long and rich history. Although the term soul food did not become popular until 1960, it can be traced as far back as the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. During this time slave owners would feed their slaves as cheaply as possible, giving them the leftovers and waste from the plantation. Due to a lack of resources, African Americans had to innovate new ways of cooking, creating meals from whatever foods they could access. Today, many of those foods are served as delicacies, including Fried Chicken, Ribs, and Ox Tails.

Traditionally soul food is very unhealthy and has caused many health concerns over the African American diet. Normally, the foods cooked, are high in starch, fat, sodium, cholesterol, and calories. Across the southeastern region of the United States, the rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, clogged arteries, stroke, and heart attacks suffered by African-Americans continues to grow. It is understandable that eventually health concerns would arise. Until the 1970’s, it was common for black cooks to reuse lard when cooking because of the lack of money. The lard was a solid form of grease that came from reusing old shortening. As society progressed, many have become health conscious and are moving towards the use of liquefied oils like vegetable, canola, and even olive oil for frying and cooking.

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