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The Origin or History of Black People Cooking Southern and Soul Food

Updated on October 28, 2020
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Claudette Carter has been a writer for more than 30 years. Graduated from Widener University and enjoys focusing on positive things in life.

Marcus Samuelsson’s book “The Rise” Features th History of Blacks Cooking in America

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A photo of Marcus Samuelsson’s new recipe book called “The Rise.” It discusses the history and origin of black people cooking throughout American history.Marcus Samuelsson’s new book “The Rise” covers more than 150 recipes along with the history and origin of black people cooking throughout American history.A closeup of Marcus a top chef and historian of how black people cook and prepare delicious food over the years.A photo of some of the delectable dishes prepared by a local black chef.
A photo of Marcus Samuelsson’s new recipe book called “The Rise.” It discusses the history and origin of black people cooking throughout American history.
A photo of Marcus Samuelsson’s new recipe book called “The Rise.” It discusses the history and origin of black people cooking throughout American history. | Source
Marcus Samuelsson’s new book “The Rise” covers more than 150 recipes along with the history and origin of black people cooking throughout American history.
Marcus Samuelsson’s new book “The Rise” covers more than 150 recipes along with the history and origin of black people cooking throughout American history. | Source
A closeup of Marcus a top chef and historian of how black people cook and prepare delicious food over the years.
A closeup of Marcus a top chef and historian of how black people cook and prepare delicious food over the years.
A photo of some of the delectable dishes prepared by a local black chef.
A photo of some of the delectable dishes prepared by a local black chef.

“How Black Cooks Have Influenced American Food”

The history of Black Americans cooking and preparing their food was the focus of a discussion on television news series #Good Morning America. News Correspondent T.J. Holmes started out by asking the question; “When l say black food or #southern food what is the first thing that comes to mind? And for a lot of people that is soul food. Southern food such as fried chicken, hamhocks, macoroni and cheese, collard greens. What Marcus is trying to do with this book is highlight that black cooking, black food is not just one thing. And he now wants black cooks and black culinary excellence to reclaim their place in American history.“ It was exciting to see master chef #Marcus Samuelsson featured because the history or concepts of black cooking are often overlooked.

T.J. Holmes continued his interview with Marcus by expressing, “Chef Marcus Samuelsson believes food is more than just the eating.” He demonstrated how we shouldn’t just gulp down our food quickly. “When you just eat like this, you’re missing the whole point.” Holmes goes on to explain the purpose of Samuelsson’s new book. ”In his new book #The Rise he set out to not only share delicious recipes or to celebrate the many contributions of black cooks and creators.” This is a book l look forward to reading because Marcus Samuelsson has always been known for delectable African based dishes.

While in a restaurant we have a tendency to see our food when it arrives. We might possibly allow the aromas to penetrate our nostrils but then we just dive right In because we cannot wait to taste our food as our mouths salivate. Marcus asked with genuine sensitivity, “So once you start thinking about our food not just what is coming on our plate in a restaurant. Who made the food? Where did it come from? Oh, it came from Africa. It came from the south or the great migration.” Honestly, l rarely think about such questions in a restaurant. I just want my food. But that question is something l will now consider before eating.

More detailed information was given on Samuelsson’s book. T. J. Holmes said, “His expansive new book is filled with 150 new recipes in honor of dozens of top chefs, writers and activists.“ Marcus surprisingly revealed, “l wasn’t surprised that you can’t really find us in our legacies when at the history books of American food. But the contribution of blacks cooking in American food is unbelievable.”

How are certain restaurants doing while this #pandemic exist? T.J. asked this question of Marcus. “How would you put it in terms of what this pandemic has done in terms of desecrating your industry?“ Sadly, chef Samuelsson explained as closed signs were featured during the interview. “The smaller businesses. Thus is actually what the restaurant industry looks like right now. They are closing one by one, by one. l don’t know what is gonna happen but something is going to come out of this. To be the beginning of something new so l have to stay positive.”

Holmes was able to visit Marcus’ famous restaurant. “We went out to his famous restaurant Red Rooster that resides in historic #Harlem. The walls filled with items special to the black community and in particular the neighborhood.” Samuelsson smiled and acknowledged, ‘Every time something new comes in we get excited.’ T.J. continues by agreeing, “This is a part of any new black experience in this country. And then of course we went to the kitchen.”

T.J. demonstrated tremendous excitement for what Samuelsson prepared for him to eat. It looked absolutely delicious with a southern flare. Holmes laughed then said, “l was told this is shrimp and grits but this looks like too many ingredients.” Marcus laughs as he explains, why such a special dish was created giving us the tone of what his book The Rise focuses not only on the food but the cooks as well. “This is in honor of what we call it Papa Ed’s Shrimp and Grits. It starts out with putting sausage, a little bit of onions and garlic. I wanted to sweat that off. I’m gonna add in a little okra and cauliflower. And now l’m gonna add in my shrimp. About two minutes or so and then they’re done. And you can squeeze in a little citrus. The shrimp should be curled up like this. They shouldn’t be over cooked.” T.J. of course had the privilege of squeezing the lime juice on the shrimp which he laughed about as well.

T.J. had the privilege to taste this amazing looking dish with a broad smile, “It was so good. So l ate it all. His point there, this is a matter of you don’t see black cooks and black cooking which is not as one thing. Its not! And it is such a rich history that is part of American history. So he is telling stories. Yes. It is a cookbook. It has recipes in there. But there are stories that go with the times that have a lot of interest that black people reclaim their part of American history. That’s what the book really is about.” It looks like a great read of personal stories and delicious recipes l can experiment with.



Identical Twins Create and Compete with their Best Dishes from A Healthy and Delicious Standpoint

Identical Twin Sisters Enjoy Preparing Food Together

Identical twin sisters Claudette and Paulette, remember when they were about six years old. Paulette and I would hug each other as we walked around the house. We were inseparable. My sister and l enjoyed a long history of cooking together. We continue that practice even today. #Identical twins have tolerated our predicament, for looking and sounding like all our lives. I use the word, "tolerated" because when you have been untder the auspices of mistaken identity all your life; it can sometimes become difficult. At first it was cute when we were young girls making mud cakes and running up and down dirt roads with our dog Spot. Yes, we had a dog name, Spot. These days and experiences made me a lover of cooking soul food. I just wanted to make it healthy.

I agree with Marcus Samuelsson’s book The Rise, cooking is so much more than just eatin. There is a history within our lives as to why we cook or perpare our food the way we do. This encourages me to include a little bit of my history. Imagine being accused of committing #adultery because someone saw Paulette with her husband. I was branded an #adulteress, by one of my husband's relatives because she did not know that I had an identical twin sister. My mother-in-law interceded and explained that based on the description of the man, it was Paulette and her husband, not my husband and l. This type of confusion continues even today. Sometimes I am reprimanded for not speaking to one of my sister's friends because they mistake me for Paulette. It is awful when someone walks up and start talking about things that I have no idea who or what they are discussing. We have both learned to just #smile and pretend that we know these strangers so that we could continue taking care of our responsibilities whether it was grocery shopping or whatever.

It was also tricky when our children were infants; they would reach for the wrong person if both of us were in the room together. Our babies would be baffled by our appearance until they could encounter the mommy smell. Even today, Paulette's children are very close to me, and my daughters are very close to her.

Growing up, we would complain about dressing alike. We abhorred it. My mother would be so proud as she presented us to the public, as a theatrical spectacle. It was always comforting when someone would say, "I wish I had an identical twin sister." This sort of flattery caused us to think of devious ways to utilize being #identical. Paulette, would get into much more mischief and blame it on me. The first thing my older brothers and sisters would say is, "Spank them both because they got the same brain anyhow."

Whenever one of us acted irresponsibly, we would pretend to be the other twin. Eventually, the mold on my neck revealed our identity so we would have to show our throats for identification. To our demise, we lost an excellent job behind the prank of pretending to be each other. There was this #Earth, Wind and Fire concert that we were both determined to attend although on different work shifts. I went to the concert one night and worked in Paulette's place the next night so that she could attend. Almost at the end of the shift, a supervisor who knew us well, began to scrutinize, my writing among other things. Caught in the act and this predicament caused both of us to lose this excellent job. That was more than #forty years ago. We have never attempted to play that game again. I think we both felt, it desecrated the sanctity of being an identical twin. It was apparent, that was a simple game never to play again.

Now that we are in our sixties, trying to live Christian lives and both married with grown children; opposing views is what we respect about each other. The videos illustrated here, are part of what we use to do on a television series, we had in the seventies. We still maintain our #opposing views because we are individuals. Meal preparation, is often a source of contention, due to our competitive nature. Most of the time, we find common ground and mutually agree. Finally, we don't have to dress alike unless we want to. Individuality is cherished although we still get confused by friends and sometimes family. It is also funny when we look back at our old photographs and become confused about if it is my identical twin sister, Paulette or me. Well, I guess that comes with the territory of growing older. It has been quite an adventure, and I pray it will continue to be. I am genuinely thankful that Jehovah God, created us as identical twins. It once again proves that God is capable of anything. What an awesome creator!

Disclaimer: Angelladywriter, is not responsible for any of the advertisements that surround this page.

The Results of Twins' Preparation of Their Favorite Dishes

A video from YouTube about "Ten Mind Blowing Things About Twins."

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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