The African-American Kitchen: Cooking From Our Heritage

Overview

From Africa and the Caribbean, from slave quarters and plantations, from church suppers, family reunions, and celebrations, Angela Shelf Medearis has assembled more than 250 recipes, all rich in flavor and history, adapted to the needs of the contemporary kitchen.

Packed with the traditions of generations of cooks who have always created and preserved their culture through food and the families it nourished, this book includes more than 250 treasured recipes, ...

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Overview

From Africa and the Caribbean, from slave quarters and plantations, from church suppers, family reunions, and celebrations, Angela Shelf Medearis has assembled more than 250 recipes, all rich in flavor and history, adapted to the needs of the contemporary kitchen.

Packed with the traditions of generations of cooks who have always created and preserved their culture through food and the families it nourished, this book includes more than 250 treasured recipes, including African dishes, Caribbean-influenced foods, Southern and soul food staples, and contemporary favorites. 2-color illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``My African ancestors left me intangible heirlooms-a will to survive, a strong sense of family, and a love of foods that connect me to the past.'' Medearis, a children's-book author who specializes in African American subjects, considers her ancestors ``an invisible but strong presence in my kitchen'' and in what she terms the cultural ``stew'' of America. This book honors them and that. The author compiles recipes that are African or Caribbean, that originated in American slave kitchens or that characterize contemporary African American taste. Regardless, her preference is for the solidly homemade, not the newfangled; Medearis eschews fast food and ``styrofoam and plastic.'' Her well-written introductory essays warm the book with bits of family history and culinary lore before serving up shrimp gumbo, bread pudding, hoecakes, a Kenyan version of steak, Ethiopian and Moroccan dishes, and plain old sassafras tea (needed: ``1 small bunch sassafras root'' and water). Spiced, generous and friendly, this work draws you in with a point of view on food, not just the food. (Oct.)
Library Journal
What started out as a compilation of the author's family recipes turned into an exploration of her culinary heritage, and so her book opens with recipes from Africa ("The Roots of Soul Cooking"): Nigerian Curry Dip, Groundnut Stew, Congo Green Papay Soup. Then she moves on to dishes from the Caribbean, recipes handed down from slave kitchens, and contemporary recipes, with a special section on Kwanzaa and other holidays and celebrations. Jessica Harris's excellent Iron Pots and Wooden Spoons (LJ 5/15/89) provides another perspective on this historical cuisine, but Medearis's more personal approach is recommended for most collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452276383
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/1997
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Angela Medearis
Angela Medearis
Angela Shelf Medearis, author of The African American Kitchen, is the founder of Diva Productions, Inc., the organization that produces her multicultural children's books, cookbooks, videos, and audiocassettes.
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