Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Soaking Up the Comforts of African-American Foods

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Soaking Up the Comforts of African-American Foods

Article excerpt

African-American foods bring comfort by being down-to-earth and heavenly at the same time.

While cookbook authors and home chefs hang on to recipes that were handed down from their grandmothers and mothers, they also improvise on the classics. Fried chicken that was once seasoned with only salt and pepper gets flavored with garlic and onion powders and a host of other spices. Grits are served plain or with shrimp and even tomatillo and squash. Vegetable shortening is replacing lard in some recipes, and smoked turkey is being used instead of ham in greens to meet changing tastes and dietary needs.

Before the days of refrigeration, stews were a way of stretching foods in the house. Over time they are still a way of using leftover vegetables and meats and have gotten richer in flavor with the addition of heavy cream to an oyster stew or half-and-half to a corn soup. …

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