Jan 14, 2011

High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey From Africa to America

(NYTBR) ... In the South, slave tastes defined the cooking repertory in a wide arc that extended from the rice and seafood belt of the Carolinas to the Creole and Cajun lands of Louisiana. Elsewhere, blacks brought new flavors and dishes to white America in restaurants and markets, or on the sidewalk from food carts. As the United States expanded westward, they extended their reach, working as cooks on the chuck wagons that accompanied the great cattle drives and on the Pullman cars that carried passengers all the way to California and the Pacific Northwest. In the process, unsuspecting white Americans learned to appreciate African-derived spices and pungent flavors, to regard Southern dishes like gumbo and fried chicken and red beans and rice as part of the national heritage, to elevate macaroni and cheese to a place high in hipster heaven. Continued