African And African American Cuisine. The Tie That Binds.

African and African American cooking has quite a lot in common. This is understandable as the ancestors of African Americans are mostly Africans and therefor have passed on a rich legacy of flavorsome recipes. Of scrumptious dishes wonderful enough to demand their own name and restaurants dedicated to serving "soul food".

In your lifetime you may have enjoyed such fare as jollof rice, highly seasoned greens and around Thanksgiving a delicious succulent piece of sweet potato pie. But do you know the origin of such dishes? Do you know where the inspiration for flavors such as these comes from?

This is African cuisine adapted to African American cooking. Passed down from one generation to the next African American cuisine tends hold in it’s history the flavors of the foods from Africa.

Many people from West Africa are farmers and have been so for hundreds of years. As a result much of the cuisine of West Africa is based on such food stuffs as African yams, corn, peanuts and other fresh vegetables and grains.

Meat which is not always available in large quantities is transformed into savory stews and soups seasoned with spicy peppers and fragrant spices.

Grains and tubers are often pounded into fluffy starches used to scoop up the flavorsome dishes or transformed into porridges eaten at breakfast time.

There are many foods that we eat in America that are native to Africa. Think of black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, dark leafy spinach to name a few. Okra and eggplant and the list could go on and on.

So the next time you partake of gumbo or cornbread think about the history that brought this food to you. The heart of African American cuisine is in African Cooking. The food is hearty and savory and the possibilities are endless.

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About The Author, O Quinn
O Quinn, who traveled extensively in her former life, is now a stay at home mom who loves cooking ethnic cuisine for her extended family. Visit her at