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Soul Food: The Surprising Story Of An American Cuisine, One Plate At A Time

In this insightful and eclectic history, Adrian Miller delves into the influences, ingredients, and innovations that make up the soul food tradition. Focusing each chapter on the culinary and social history of one dish--such as fried chicken, chitlins, yams, greens, and "red drinks--Miller uncovers how it got on the soul food plate and what it means for African American culture and identity.Miller argues that the story is more complex and surprising than commonly thought. Four centuries in the making, and fusing European, Native American, and West African cuisines, soul food--in all its fried, pork-infused, and sugary glory--is but one aspect of African American culinary heritage. Miller discusses how soul food has become incorporated into American culture and explores its connections to identity politics, bad health raps, and healthier alternatives. This refreshing look at one of America's most celebrated, mythologized, and maligned cuisines is enriched by spirited sidebars, photographs, and twenty-two recipes.

Hardcover: 352 pages

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1st New edition edition (August 15, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 146960762X

ISBN-13: 978-1469607627

Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #557,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #67 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > African #79 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > U.S. Regional > Soul Food #816 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference > History

I was fortunate to get an advance copy of this marvelous chronicle a few weeks before it sold out of its first printing -- and i see why readers would snatch it up.A little more than a decade in the making, "soul food" is scholarly enough to qualify as an anthropological study, a textbook for anybody's culinary program anywhere, but readable enough for the person who just wants to learn more about this country's often controversial culinary heritage.miller, a lawyer-turned-lobbyist-turned author, weaves an engaging narrative that traces the roots of southern foodways through iterations that reveal african slave roots that become translated into fine foods at the master's table. without giving anything away, most will be surprised at who first served macaroni and cheese, one of those "as american as apple pie" dishes gobbled coast-to-coast. and chitlins, sometimes laughably enunciated as "chitterlings," were stinking up european kitchens long before they were found in slave quarters. and you think black folks invented fried chicken? think the question becomes, why and how did soul food become the exclusive purview of american blacks? and what's the difference between "southern food," found on tables on poor white sharecropper tables, so-called "soul food" found on tables on tables belonging to black families? what happened between then and now that polarized, stigmatized and categorized certain foods (think fried chicken and watermelon)? Ever wonder where the notion of chicken and waffles came from?All becomes clear in miller's enlightening soul food exploration -- one plate at a time. and yes, there are recipes -- and rather good ones at that. put your calorie counting on the back burner and enjoy.

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