The icons of modern Southern cooking are shiny and instagram-ready: biscuits, fried chicken, bourbon, and barbecue. If we travel through time to your great-grandfather's table, the plate looks less photogenic and is heavily steeped in survival. What dishes served as the building blocks to African American foodways?
Hominy. Nixtamalization, a Native American food practice, gave the African American population a generational boost. We were surviving to make more kids in ways the Black folks in the Caribbean and Brazil weren't. You'll often hear that fewer enslaved Africans came to the U.S. than other places. Yeah, because from a dietary perspective, those first few generations were saved by the granddaddy of grits.