The Difference Between Soul Food and Southern Food
Cornbread, fried chicken, black-eyed peas, yams, macaroni and cheese and collard greens cooked iwht ham hocks are indistinguishable ingredients found in soul food. Food of the Deep South, the term soul food was first introduced in print during the 1960s during the rise of the civil rights marches and Black nationalist movements. But what makes soul food different than Southern food?
African Americans arrived in America as slaves where they were given limited food rations by their masters. Typically rations such as cornmeal, lard, molasses, peas, greens, flour, and some kind of meat, were distributed every Saturday. From these ingredients came classic recipes such as fried chitlins, bbq, cornbread, fried fish, and cooked okra. It was a cooking culture that came to fruition out of necessity and the limits that were put on enslaved African Americans.
Once slavery was abolished, the Great Migration brought soul food and southern cuisine to the North and West. Not all Southern food is soul food, but all soul food is Southern food. In fact, Southern food is the mother of soul food. It's comfort food at its core, with entrees and side dishes inspired by the south and African descent. Home cooking soul food usually means cooking up anything from hush puppies and banana pudding to candied yams and sweet potato pie. Let's not forget the chitterlings and grits!
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