West Africa parades Benin, Burkina Faso, the island nation of Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe and Togo. West Africa remembers the empires of Ghana, Mali, Oyo, and Benin. West Africa cooks Yassa, Maafe, and Fufu. In The … Continue reading Prolegomena To Any Future Gumbo.
Houston like any city from Ur to Rome to Hong Kong tells its story through food and those who bring food traditions from around the world to their neighborhood. A Brief History of Houston Barbecue offers such a tale, one where I stir a barbecue sauce in my Houston Heights home and wonder, whose sauce … Continue reading More Alchemy And Travels Through Space And Time With Barbecue Sauce.
Society has to be crowded with the truth. The truth must kneel on football fields and spill onto our dinner plates. Chefs, writers, bartenders, bakers, farmers, and the lot of us food people are keepers of social space—and we have a responsibility to introduce racial equity as a necessary non sequitur. Tunde Wey writes … Continue reading “You Ain’t As White As You Think.” Braised OxTails And Greens.
Leroy Campbell’s Table Talk portrays three generations of a family gathered round plates full of corn, greens, tomatoes and rolls. Newspaper articles focused on African-american culture stitch together the tablecloth. Bright, lively colors clothe family, furniture and walls. Two black and white portraits of ancestors watch over them all. Campbell creates his work out of Gullah-Geechee … Continue reading Gullah Cuisine: An Argument And History About Who’s in The Kitchen With A Chicken Bog.
The first thing you notice about Pieter Aretsen’s painting A Meat Stall With The Holy Family Giving Alms (1551) is all the meat–an ox head with eyes staring at us, pig trotters on a cabbage leaf, whole side of a slaughtered pig split cleanly down the spine, a large ham shank, sausage, smoked fish, herring; … Continue reading Thinking About Who’s Sitting Down To Dinner In North Carolina
I discover Edna Lewis in the pages of the New York Times. Edna Lewis and the Black Roots of American Cooking by Francis Lam casts me into the world of Freetown, Virginia where people lived close to the land, cooking their harvest in wood stoves, using wells and streams to keep food cool. Lam carefully chooses … Continue reading Edna Lewis And Kidney Bean Soup
Look at it. Three pounds of Mangalitsa/Berkshire goodness. Oh, the marble-like fat, smooth and wet to the touch. The Mangalitsa certainly has its share of attention these days, with an appearance recently in the Slow Food 2014 Almanac, which highlights its taste profile, “the fat of Mangalica pigs has been shown to be better for … Continue reading Another Day With The Appalachian Book Of The Dead, While Brining Pork Belly And Pouring Woodford Reserve Double Oaked With Johnny Cash And The Civil Wars. (Part Two)
The “Weighing of the Heart” in The Egyptian Book of the Dead offers a moment we may live any day or minute on earth, and one we may believe judges all our actions and thoughts after we die. This particular Book of the Dead presents Ani, a royal scribe, descending to the underworld–a descent which transforms … Continue reading The Appalachian Book Of The Dead, Woodford Reserve, And How To Smoke A Pork Belly On Your Son’s Birthday (Part 1).
It’s late, cold and I’m drinking Jefferson’s Kentucky Bourbon Very Small Batch. Much spice and vanilla on the nose with citrus notes everywhere–green apples and rum in there as well. Taste? Very clean, refreshing, slightly sour with red-hot candy, anise, a bit of lemon, bit of grass, and cookie dough. A roll of nectar in … Continue reading A Good Man Is Hard To Find, Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon, And Grits.
On March 25 at the Houston Country Club, I’ll sit at a white-cloth table, dine on a salad, a fowl perhaps, and some sort of pie, while drinking a few glasses of wine. This is the annual Great Conversation hosted by the august Honors College at the University of Houston–where I work. Along the way, … Continue reading A Rose For Emily, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, And A Lowcountry Seafood Boil