Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time

Adrian Miller (Author)
Available

Description

2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award, Reference and Scholarship
Honor Book for Nonfiction, Black Caucus of the American Library Association

In this insightful and eclectic history, Adrian Miller delves into the influences, ingredients, and innovations that make up the soul food tradition. Focusing each chapter on the culinary and social history of one dish--such as fried chicken, chitlins, yams, greens, and red drinks--Miller uncovers how it got on the soul food plate and what it means for African American culture and identity.
Miller argues that the story is more complex and surprising than commonly thought. Four centuries in the making, and fusing European, Native American, and West African cuisines, soul food--in all its fried, pork-infused, and sugary glory--is but one aspect of African American culinary heritage. Miller discusses how soul food has become incorporated into American culture and explores its connections to identity politics, bad health raps, and healthier alternatives. This refreshing look at one of America's most celebrated, mythologized, and maligned cuisines is enriched by spirited sidebars, photographs, and twenty-two recipes.

Product Details

Price
$22.00  $20.24
Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Publish Date
February 01, 2017
Pages
352
Dimensions
8.0 X 1.0 X 10.0 inches | 1.1 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781469632421
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Adrian Miller--author of Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time, which won a James Beard Foundation book award--worked as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton. He is a certified Kansas City Barbecue Society judge and former Southern Foodways Alliance board member. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Reviews

I recommend this book to 'foodies' and to those interested in American history, African American history and preserving good down home soul food cooking.--Tennessee Libraries


Miller's book is a mouth-watering tome that not only titillates the palate, but feeds the brain with science, geography and history.--Denver Westword


Crafts a dynamic and engaging biography of an American cuisine.--Southern Historian


Miller knows all about soul food's allure, both as a way of eating and as cultural totem. . . . [His] book is a labor of love.--Denver Post


Deliciously entertaining and rich in its history.--Journal of American Culture


This highly-informative opus . . . is filled with fascinating factoids.--Kam Williams


Miller took up the challenge of tracing soul food's history and launching its spirited defense after realizing the story had never really been told in a comprehensive way.--Villager Newspaper


Focusing each chapter on the culinary and social history of one dish--such as fried chicken, chitlins, yams, greens and 'red drinks'--Miller uncovers how it got on the soul food plate and what it means for African-American culture and identity.--The Philadelphia Tribune


Just the book to move readers from one end of the line to the other without getting bogged down. . . . Soul Food is ingenious . . . [and] speaks to the enduring mythological power of its staple dishes.--Michael Twitty, American Prospect


An intelligent review that explores the muddy territory 'where southern food ends and soul food begins.' The journey is as informative as it is entertaining.--Austin Chronicle


[A] fascinating look at the cuisine known as soul food and its close cousin, southern cuisine. . . . Photographs and recipes add to the allure of this well-researched look at the past and future of soul food.--Booklist, starred review


An engaging, tradition-rich look at an often overlooked American cuisine--certainly to be of interest to foodies from all walks of life.--Kirkus, starred review


Detailed and sprightly. . . . [Miller] adds in-depth chapters that explore more than a dozen soulful dishes--including catfish, black-eyed peas, mac and cheese, cornbread, and candied yams.--Stanford Magazine


As Miller tells the whole story of soul food from its beginnings to current day and throughout, he is so skillful at finding cultural and historical context, you may find yourself learning about your own food culture.--Culinary Historians of Washington


Both thought-provoking and celebratory.--Edible Piedmont


[A] comprehensive and entertaining history of soul food. . . . A lively and thorough account for fans of food literature and of African American history. Recipes included. Highly recommended.--Library Journal


[Miller] doesn't do anything halfway.--5280


Examines the roots of a distinctly American tradition.--StarNewsOnline.com


Miller moves way past common notions about soul food to offer a fascinating look at the cuisine and its close cousin, southern cooking.--Booklist Top 10 Food Books of 2013


[A] lively, innovative, and carefully researched study of traditional African American food habits.--North Carolina Historical Review


Miller makes many surprising points and teaches us a great deal about our Southern foodways' relationship to soul food. . . . Along the way, we get some fascinating insights, and a few great recipes and illustrations.--Okra Magazine


An undeniably entertaining book.--Journal of Southern History


A wonderful combination of sociological examination of African-American culture and identity, travelogue and cookbook. . . . It's exactly this combination of earnest curiosity and an unwillingness to take his topic too seriously that makes Soul Food such a great read. . . . I highly recommend this book!--Nashville Scene


Insightful, thoughtful and meticulously researched, Soul Food sets a place for soul food in the American culinary canon. There's no way you won't be craving something sweet and fried and soulful for dinner.--Virginian-Pilot


Most people don't know soul food the way Miller does. . . . Miller's book studies soul food mainly in terms of its quintessential ingredients or dishes. . . [and] along the way, he dishes up a few surprises.--Winston-Salem Journal


2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award, Reference and Scholarship