NATIONAL SOUL FOOD MONTH
National Soul Food Month in June is steeped in tradition, tracing its heritage back generations.
While soul food and southern cooking may often be compared, African-American slaves developed soul food’s distinct character by creating outstanding meals from less-than-desirable cuts of meat and produce.
Whether the meal consisted of fried meats and vegetables or bbq and baked goods, the meals served to nourish the body and the fellowship that accompanied it nourished the soul.
According to culinaryhistorians.org, the term “soul food” made its appearance and became popular in the 1960s, giving a name to the flavorful foods, often fried in pork fat, that were becoming known in kitchens and restaurants in cities across the country.
However, soul food doesn’t have to laden with fat. Fresh from the southern garden, it can be just as flavorful as it can be light. Many of the old recipes are new again with spices and herbs and pinches of the old traditions.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Take a tour through soul food heritage. Graze the flavors and spices of the heritage. Have a conversation while you’re at it and feed your soul. Listen to the history of the food, where it’s traveled, how it’s changed through the years. Visit culinaryhistorians.org to learn more.
Charla Draper founded National Soul Food Month in 2001 to celebrate the rich history of soul food.