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Black History Month Food: Cooking Up African Culture Rooted in American Soil


February 14, 2013

In the United States, our melting-pot personality is most evident on our plates. Food from around the globe can be found there.

During Black History Month, Glory Foods celebrates African roots in American soil that have given us an assortment of food gifts including okra, peanuts, watermelon, yams, sesame and rice.

Joseph E. Holloway, who has a doctorate in history, said lima beans, okra, rice, black-eyed peas and kidney beans were among the “crops brought directly from Africa during the transatlantic slave trade,” in his article titled “African Crops and Slave Cuisines” on slaverebellion.org. These crops “went from being eaten exclusively by Africans in North America to being in white Southern cuisine,” he said.

These native crops of Africa are now intricately woven into the fabric of American food culture.

In his award-winning cookbook, “The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa,” Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson said, “I had always thought of okra as a vegetable of the American South, so it came as a surprise to learn that it originated in my native Ethiopia and is used throughout Africa. It is used to thicken soups and stews, and it is the prime ingredient in the gumbos of the American South.”

Okra – just like rice, peanuts and other African counterparts – have global appeal beyond the South. Okra, for example, is a spotlight vegetable on the world’s stage in varied cuisines, including the Caribbean, the Middle East, Greece, India, Turkey and South America.

Glory Foods has canned the goodness first rooted in the soil of Africa and firmly planted in American culture in an array of delectable ways.

Glory Foods Sensibly Seasoned product line, for example, presents okra as a part of its vegetable trio called Tomatoes, Okra & Corn. Okra is also featured prominently in our version of the classic duo of Tomatoes & Okra. You can check out the array of wonderful vegetables at http://www.gloryfoods.com/products/sensibly-seasoned-lower-sodium-products/.

However, the deliciousness doesn’t stop there. Glory Foods also has tasty beans featured in our Sensibly Seasoned and Seasoned Southern Style varieties, including black-eyed peas and lima beans. And all you have to do is open a can and taste the wonder of cultures, side by side.

If you go to the Glory Foods recipe section at www.gloryfoods.com/recipes/, you will find okra in numerous entrees like our Pan Seared Mahi Mahi Steamed Jasmine Rice and Glory Foods Sensibly Seasoned Okra, Corn & Tomatoes.

 

Or you can experience our cultures coming together in a bowl of Creole Crawfish & Andouille Sausage Soup that incorporates the goodness of red beans, rice, okra and seasonings for a quick meal you’ll come back to again and again.

 

That’s just the way culture is – no matter how you serve it up, it’s too good to put aside and too delightful to forget.

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