There are so many amazing examples of Black soul food culture in this Article. Black History Month has begun and it is a time when we make space to pay homage to the rich, deep history of African Americans and celebrate their brilliance, perseverance, and invaluable contributions to our society.
One factor crucial to this history is cuisine, which is as rich and nuanced as the Black experience itself.
Every February since 1976, Black History Month has been an opportunity to learn more about the legacy and contributions of Black people, and these Black History Month cuisine recipes provide an opportunity to fully commemorate Black soul food.
There is a significant connection between Black history and food, with many parts of African culinary history finding their way into African American cuisines and American cuisine in general. Exploring—and, more importantly, making—foods from the Black diaspora is a terrific way to recognize the contributions of Black culture throughout history.
The African Diaspora encompasses cultures descended from Africa from all around the world. These African Diaspora dishes include classic African American meals, often known as “soul food,” as well as recipes and delicacies from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Thus these Black History Month food dishes are a study of African Diaspora foods and how African heritage has shaped Black history and eating.
Here are 12 Soul food Recipes influenced by African roots, for Black history month.
This soul food employs signature tastes that will convince you that it is actually from the African Diaspora. Smoky, savory, and spicy flavors. This recipe’s major ingredient is black-eyed peas, which are extremely nutritious.
In the 17th century, West Africans introduced black-eyed peas to the West Indies. The beans followed the European slavers over the Atlantic. They were supplied to slaves as sustenance during the middle passage, giving rise to the stereotype of poor man’s beans.
It’s very popular in the southern regions, where it’s used to prepare a variety of comfort foods. It’s easy and excellent, just like its African equivalent Red Red (African Stewed Black Eyed Peas).
Fried Plantains with Poulet DG
Fried Plantain with Poulet DG (Director General) is a delectable African dish that combines fried plantains, chicken, and vegetables in a delicious herb sauce influenced by French cuisine. This elegant and delectable dish is generally reserved for special occasions. You should try this soul food for black history month.
Liberian Palm Nut Stew
Although the palm butter soup is a delicacy of the African ‘Kru’ tribe-the indigenous people of Liberia, the meal has widespread throughout the country. Also known as Palm Oil Stew or Palm Nut Soup, people enjoy this dish in every county in Liberia. And since the people of Liberia are an extension of enslaved Africans who resettled in the place now known as Liberia, try this meal as part of your soul food plans for black history month.
The major ingredient in this recipe has a little bitter taste but is also quite nutritious. The whole dish has a smokey flavor that works well as a side dish. It goes well with classic soul foods like cornbread and homemade baked beans.
Although greens originated in Greece, America got its first taste when the first Africans landed in Jamestown. This was one of the few crops that enslaved Africans were allowed to raise for themselves. This ingredient was used in a variety of meals that later become traditional southern comfort cuisine.
This recipe has several variations, including African-style and southern-style. The Ethiopian collard greens are also known as Ye’abasha Gomen perfectly execute the dish the African way.
Any list of soul food would be incomplete without the famed Jambalaya. This rustic rice meal mixes the robust tastes of beef, vegetables, rice, and spices. This dish’s fragrant spices make the cooking extremely tasty.
Jambalaya is uncannily similar to Jollof Rice, a West African dish that is also related to paella. This demonstrates that the Jambalaya contains both Creole and Cajun elements.
Both Jambalaya and Jollof rice are made in a same pot and require adequate caramelization of vegetables and meat. This results in the color of the foods we’re accustomed with.
When discussing southern cuisine and Soul Food, gumbo is an absolute must. It’s a luscious blend of real chicken and shrimp flavors with strong southern seasonings. Although many people dislike eating okra, several stories indicate that it was one of the dish’s initial ingredients.
Gumbo exemplifies how southern food is a cultural and culinary melting pot. The word “okra” comes from a West African translation. The word Okra comes from the Igbo word “Okwuru.” The popularity of this veggie in southern dishes started when it was domesticated from West Africa in the 1500s.
Okra is primarily utilized as a thickening factor in many traditional and southern African stews or saucy foods, such as the classic African Okra/Okro Soup.
This is an excellent pairing for substantial foods because it lacks overwhelming flavors. Whether you serve this as a side dish or light snack, this buttery and crumbly southern-style cornbread surely satisfies. Cornmeal, the major ingredient in this dish, is a black kitchen staple that is necessary in many other Afro-American comfort dishes.
The original recipe used white corn, which has few flavor options. It wasn’t until mechanized milling that yellow corn, which is sweeter, became more accessible. As a result, black cooks adapted their recipes to create the flavor we all know and love today.
Grits are a creamy and cheesy southern breakfast classic that you may be familiar with. The cheesy and creamy meal is made with cracked and boiling maize, butter, and milk. It has a porridge-like consistency and can be served plain or with a fried egg on top. This creamy, cheesy, and flexible soul food is a Southern staple breakfast or side dish. Best served with eggs, sausages, and other hearty foods for breakfast. Grits are regarded as one of the authentic blue flavors of the South, popularized by Southern African-Americans. This meal is now available in a variety of recipe variations, including Cheesy Grits and Cajun Shrimp and Grits.
Crispy Air fried Okra
We already established that Okra originated from west Africa and many soul foods are made with okra. The Crispy Air fried is a healthier way to make crunchy southern fried okra without the excessive amount of oil. The flavorful crunchy coating is made with cornmeal, seasonings and gluten-free flour. This crispy okra recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and incredibly delicious!
Sweet Potato Casserole with Coconut Pecan Topping
Sweet Potato Casserole with Coconut Pecan Topping is a beloved recipe in the African-American culture. This version of this soul food provides the dish a nuttier, more tropical flavor in homage to the Afro-Caribbean. It’s full of flavor with pumpkin pie spice, gluten-free and vegetarian. This recipe is also very freezer-friendly so it’s a great option to prepare during this black history month.
Southern styled Chicken & Waffles
Chicken and waffles are delicious any time of day or night. There are a few different theories regarding the origins of this exquisite dessert floating around online, but everyone seems to agree that it has a deep culinary history. The most frequent legend dates back to 1930s Harlem, when chicken and waffles were served at the Wells Supper Club, a jazz club. The dish was supposed to be popular with artists after they completed performing since it was a filling combination of dinner and breakfast items.
Black Eyed Peas Fritters
This simple spicy and crunchy snack also works well as an appetizer, especially when paired with African Pepper Sauce. It is a popular soul food. What we like about this snack is that it contains simple flavors that, when combined, provide a complex mixture. It is a breakfast staple in Africa and a street food.
Africans from various countries will be familiar with this dish, but they may refer to it differently. Whether you name it Akara, Kosai, Akla, or Koose’, this simple West African snack or side dish is wonderful in any language.
A lot of black cuisines originated from African and mixed up with Spanish and French decedents, which later intertwined with the South. This cuisine then took on the term “soul food.” Just like it sounds, soul food is a cuisine that is cooked with an abundance of love and passion, coming from the soul. Let us all remember that food is at the heart of our culture. No matter where we are in the globe, our heritage lives on via the flavors, ingredients, and style of cooking. Let us all celebrate Black History Month together with these soul food recipes.