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Author: Michael W. Twitty

Paperback: 464 Pages

Publisher: Amistad

Copyright: 2017

Language: English

The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South

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He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia.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.

Author Bio 

Michael W. Twitty is a culinary and cultural historian and the creator of www.Afroculinaria.com, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacy. 

He has been honored by the website First We Feast (www.firstwefeast.com) as one of twenty greatest food bloggers of all time, and named one of “Fifty People Changing the South” by Southern Living. He’s also been honored as one of the “Five Cheftavists to Watch” by TakePart.Com. 

https://afroculinaria.com/

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