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Food Historian Reckons With the Black Roots of Southern Food

Jackie Mansky Smithsonian Magazine
In his new book, Michael Twitty shares the contributions that enslaved African-Americans and their descendants have made to southern cuisine. In the book’s pages, woven alongside recipes for meals like West African Brisket (which requires paprika, black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and kosher salt, among other seasonings), he unearths tales of resilience, like how individuals once used mattress frames to barbecue deer, bear, hog, goat and sheep.
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