February was Black History Month, and with that comes the celebration of Soul Food in cities across America. Few can resist the southern comforts such as fried chicken, mac and cheese, fried okra, and hush puppies, to name a few delicious morsels that originated in the Black South.
However, many people eat this food without understanding its complicated beginnings. Stories have been passed down among some black families in the United States regarding the origins of Soul Food.
For example, some say that women who where slaves who did not want to work in fields would work in the kitchen instead, concocting delicious meals that eventually became a staple of the southern diet. Some people think that Soul Food came from meals that masters didn’t want to eat, so it was then given to their slaves.
However, Adrian Miller, a culinary expert, freelance food writer, and Soul Food Scholar, thinks differently. For him, Soul Food is so much more.
Rather, it is “taking unfamiliar ingredients and making dishes magical… the comforting taste of home” that can be enjoyed anywhere. The term “Soul Food” became popular in the 60’s and 70’s, during the Black Power Movement.
During that time, those who viewed the food as a part of Black American identity would most likely agree with Miller, as it was meant to be a taste that reminded Black Americans of home and family.