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The cooking gene: a journey through African-American culinary history in the Old South

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HarperCollins Publishers,
Pub. Date:
First edition.

2018 James Beard Foundation Book of the Year | 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner inWriting | Nominee for the 2018 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction | #75 on The Root100 2018

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.

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who "owns" it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.

From the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields, Twitty tells his family story through the foods that enabled his ancestors' survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia.

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.

Illustrations by Stephen Crotts

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID2a55c3be-ae9c-b21e-970c-82e8f377867b
Grouping Titlecooking gene a journey through african american culinary history in the old south
Grouping Authortwitty michael
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2020-03-17 11:52:51AM
Last Indexed2020-03-28 23:17:21PM

Solr Details

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authorTwitty, Michael, 1977-
author2-roleTwitty, Michael W..
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display_description"First Amistad hardcover published 2017" "A memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces the paths of the author's ancestors (black and white) through the crucible of slavery to show its effects on our food today"--
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ils:.b25249691BookBooksFirst edition.EnglishHarperCollins Publishers, 2017.xvii, 443 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm
hoopla:MWT12455991eBookeBookEnglishHarper Collins Publishers, 2017.1 online resource
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subject_facetAfrican American cooking -- History
African Americans -- Food -- Southern States -- History
African Americans -- Genealogy
Cooking, American -- Southern style -- History
Electronic books
Genetic genealogy
title_displayThe cooking gene : a journey through African-American culinary history in the Old South
title_fullThe cooking gene : a journey through African American culinary history in the Old South [electronic resource] / Michael W. Twitty
The cooking gene : a journey through African-American culinary history in the Old South / Michael W. Twitty
The cooking gene : a journey through African-American culinary history in the Old South [electronic resource] / Michael W. Twitty
title_shortThe cooking gene
title_suba journey through African-American culinary history in the Old South
topic_facetAfrican American cooking
African Americans
Cooking, American
Electronic books
Genetic genealogy
Southern style