35 Absolutely Essential Soul Food Recipes – PureWow

35 Absolutely Essential Soul Food Recipes – PureWow

The term “soul food” gained popularity in 1964, when a newspaper reported on the resurgence of “black pride,” according to the British Daily Mail. Britannica. Despite its cultural renaissance in the 1990s, soul food’s roots go back several centuries. It originated in the nineteenth century in the southern countryside, after the emancipation of slaves.

After emancipation, formerly enslaved cooks expanded their cooking techniques. Now with easier access to a wider range of ingredients, they have been able to develop a cuisine that combines the flavors of their African heritage with more American elements. Black-eyed peas, potatoes, and cabbage are a few staple foods, according to the Oxford African American Studies Center (OAASC). Although many main dishes contain meat, vegetarian soul food restaurants are on the rise nowadays.

“Soul food was used in the context of the (1990s) renaissance to promote themes such as the need to build and maintain strong black families, black economic institutions and pride in things African American,” wrote Charles L. Lumpkins at OAASC. “Soul food entered the 21st century as an expression of African American pride and ethnic heritage, and as a prominent component of authentic American cuisine.”

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