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What is Soul Food?

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Hello all.

I have never actually eaten 'authentic' soul food. I am not from the US so the cuisine has always been sort of out of reach to me. I am however attracted to the aesthetic of soul food and I hold a certain appeal for it.

Fried chicken. Collard greens. Macaroni and cheese. Sweet potato pie. Peach cobbler. These are some of the dishes I have seen being included in many soul food menus.

My question here is: what are the staples of the soul food cusine?

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  1. I believe that the term is from slavery days,when slaves had to make the best of unwanted/leftover parts of veggies and meats (pigs feet and dandelion greens for example). And its also blend of a few ingredients from africa like okra, as well as spices which would be available at the time. At the end of a hard day when slaves got to see their family,food,communion,and music was food for the soul.

    1 Reply
    1. re: exotik1

      Thank you for your reply. Do you happen to know some of the staple dishes of the cuisine?

    2. The '60's in the U.S.A. were a period when many groups of historically disenfranchised banded together as a political/self empowering/pride based unit. Women, black, gay - many others. The term "soul" came into common usage at this point.

      This link has an extensive link of foods associated with soul cooking.

      http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_ev...

      1 Reply
      1. re: meatn3

        Thanks. The site you provided is in indeed informative.

      2. I had a teacher at culinary school who said "Soul Food is made with love, from the heart".

        1 Reply
        1. re: roux42

          It can be - just like any food/dish/cuisine really.

          Do you know what the teacher meant?