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

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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 He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia.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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ISBN:
9780062379276
9780062379290
9780062379283
9781541498075
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID85634ef4-b48f-0ca9-17a0-200d3c9a7da6
Grouping Titlecooking gene a journey through african american culinary history in the old south
Grouping Authortwitty michael w
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2019-11-11 09:46:15AM
Last Indexed2019-11-11 09:46:45AM

Solr Details

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authorMichael W. Twitty
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display_description"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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literary_form_fullEssays
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Central
Cherrydale
Columbia Pike
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Detention Center
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Local History
Plaza
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owning_location_arlingtonAurora Hills
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publishDate2017
2018
record_details
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:.b19841954BookBooksFirst edition.EnglishAmistad, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2017.xvii, 443 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : color ; 24 cm
overdrive:a9aa1f82-a68c-4994-9a84-a0c6a699c486eBookeBookEnglishHarperCollins2017
overdrive:acc39682-1066-4188-a40b-565f9d0dfae3eAudiobookAudio BooksEnglishTantor Media, Inc.2018
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subject_facetAfrican American cooking -- History
African Americans -- Food -- Southern States -- History
African Americans -- Genealogy
Cooking, American -- Southern style -- History
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
The Cooking Gene A Journey Through African-american Culinary History in the Old South
The cooking gene : a journey through African-American culinary history in the Old South / Michael W. Twitty
title_shortThe cooking gene
title_suba journey through African-American culinary history in the Old South
topic_facetCooking & Food
Essays
History
Nonfiction
Sociology