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    Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking American

    The African-American Kitchen: Cooking from Our Heritage

    Medearis, Angela Shelf

    Plume Books
    Published: November 1, 1997
    ISBN: 0452276381

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    Book Description
    From Publishers 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.
    Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    Product Description:
    From the gumbos of Louisiana to the Carolina rice islands, from the introduction of pasta to the rise of the ubiquitous peanut, African-American cooks have placed an indelible stamp on American food. Angela Shelf Medearis has collected more than 250 treasured recipes, including native African dishes, Caribbean-influenced foods, Southern and soul food staples, and contemporary favorites, all testifying to the exciting variety of this abundant tradition. From Africa come Ghanaian Kelewele, (spicy plantain fritters) and Ethiopian Yemiser Selatta, a lentil salad. From the Caribbean, Jamaican Stamp and Go codfish cakes and Haitian Griots, savory marinated chunks of pork. Out of the slave quarters and plantation kitchens where African cooks presided, we get Hoppin' John, Ham with Red-Eye Gravy, Beaten Biscuits, and Peach Cobbler. For holidays and celebrations, there are special menus including Kwanzaa Blessing Soup and Christmas Molasses Taffy, as well as time-honored treats from church socials and family reunions like Picnic Potato Salad, Raisin-Pecan Pie, and much, much more. The text is enlivened with African and Southern sayings, quotations from 19th-century cooks' manuals, and personal and family reminiscences, all bringing the rich African-American culinary heritage to life. The African-American Kitchen is packed with the traditions of generations of cooks who have always created and preserved their culture through food and the families it nourishes. More than a cookbook, it is a living history and a loving testament of pride.

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