I was glad to see The Cooking Gene, A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael Twitty mentioned on our suggestion page, as it was already on my to-be-reading list. I have had the pleasure to meet Michael Twitty in person and listen to him: he is an engaging speaker. I am thrilled to read his book and share the experience with others.
The Cooking Gene is "Michael’s personal mission to document the connection between food history and family history from Africa to America, from slavery to freedom." (source)
The Cooking Gene has won the 2018 James Beard Foundation's Book Of The Year Award.
From the publishers' page:
A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom...
As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the Southern past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep—the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.A quote from Twitty can be seen on the walls of the Sweet Home Café at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (you can see it and read the details in this post).
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This selection brings to a close the current set of four: be on the lookout for a post where we announce the next four selections.