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Black People Food: These Nine foods are Uniquely African American


Although black Americans cook numerous delicious African food, here’s a list of 9 foods unique to African American community. 

Most of these food are black people’s food because they originated with the West Africa Slaves. They had a significant influence on regional cuisine. Most of the spices used to add flavor are natively grown in Africa. 

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1. Hoppin’ John

This is a typical dish that is celebrated on new year’s Day. The three main ingredients are rice, beans, and pork. However, people add other items to make it delicious. Here are some of the commonly used ingredients:

  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Green bell peppers
  • Bacon
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Collard greens
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Chicken stock
  • Rice

 Most of the ingredients are symbolic. Tomatoes symbolize love. Rice symbolizes life. The vegetables symbolize money and treasures. 

Originating from the South, the dish can be eaten as a whole or part of the main dish. It was loved on the new year to wish for good luck. Farmers were preparing to plant by the end of January, so they made this meal to hope for a good planting season and luck throughout the year. 

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2. Gumbo

Gumbo is a signature stew dish in Southern Louisiana, but it’s also enjoyed in other states. The Spanish, Caribbeans, and Italians then influenced its cooking method. Each community has its unique way of doing it. The main ingredient of this dish is okra. However, other ingredients include sausages, seafood, and green vegetables.

It’s served over rice and is seasoned with a deep brown roux (fat and flour combination), a vegetable mixture called the Trinity. Roux is the hardest part of the dish. Nowadays, it’s easy to find ready-to-eat roux from your grocery. But a homemade one is much better. 

3. Peach Cobbler

This Southern staple is easy to prepare and ideal during summer. It’s a deep-dish fruit pie deliciously made from fresh or canned peaches with simple pantry ingredients. You may add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a heavenly taste.

To make an ideal peach cobbler that is 11 by 5 feet and 20cm deep, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 285 litres of local peaches
  • Butter 90 pounds
  • 122 liters of whole milk
  • 150 pounds of wheat flour
  • 150 pounds sugar

When making this dish, some people prefer enclosing it in the crust, while others have it as a drop-biscuit or crumb. Its name, “cobbled,” is derived from its rough look. 

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4. Sweet Potato Pie

This pie is associated with the African American people as a popular soul food and a delicious bite. To make a pie enough for ten people or more, use these ingredients:

  • Three large sweet potatoes
  • Two large eggs
  • 12 ounces of evaporated milk at room temperature
  • Sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsalted batter

For flavoring, you can use:

  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • allspice

5. Corn Bread

This dish is one of the popular soul food among the black community. For a long time, black Americans used corn to make almost everything in their household, from food to soap. Among the most unique inventions of using corn was to make cornbread. 

It’s easy to grow and easy to prepare. Cornbread was a simple combination of cornmeal and water stirred and baked over an open fire. 

With time, things evolved, and people started using buttermilk, eggs, baking powder, and baking soda. 

To make a cornbread, you’ll need these ingredients:

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  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • One tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • One large egg, lightly beaten
  • Honey

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6. Black-eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas. Image Source: Wikimedia by Tody Hudson. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

These peas are also known as cowpeas or goat eye peas. There are several varieties of black-eyed peas, all with that classic eye—their color change as they dry. 

Here are the ingredients you need to make a black-eyed peas stew:

  • One lb. dried blackeyed peas
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • ¼ cup butter
  • One jalapeno diced small- optional
  • I medium onion
  • Two ham hocks or ham bone or turkey necks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

7. Fried Chicken

For a long time, fried chicken was a regional specialty, a delicacy in the South. The industrial revolution and the civil war influenced its movement to other parts of the country. 

For a long time, fried chicken was served on Sunday afternoons and was seen as a source of protein for the blacks as they did harsh labor. 

To make a crispy piece of fried chicken, here are the ingredients:

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 11/2 black pepper
  • 11/2 tsp salt
  • 11/2 seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • Canola oil
  • Chicken parts can be wings, thighs

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8. Red-velvet Cake

round red velvet cake on a white plate
A round red velvet cake on a white plate. Image source: Wikimedia. Licensed Under CC BY 4.0

Red velvet cake is famous for weddings, birthday parties, and cupcake flavors. It originated from the south and was made famous by the movie ”steel Magniloas.” It turns red from cocoa, baking soda, vinegar, and buttermilk reactions. People add red fruit or crushed beetles to have a bright red color. 

Here are the ingredients used to make this cake:

  • 2 ounces butter
  • 11/2 white sugar
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 21/2 cups cake flour
  • Two tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Two tablespoons of red food color

9. Red Beans and Rice

Every culture has a unique way of cooking red beans and rice. This traditional dish is rich in flavor and has a deep history.

To enjoy a plate of red beans and rice, use the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound red kidney beans
  • 1 hot andouille sausage
  • Three celery stalk
  • 1 tsp crab boil
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • One tablespoon of minced garlic
  • One tablespoon of creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½  tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½  tablespoon onion powder
  • ½  tablespoon garlic powder
  • Two tablespoons of fresh parsley
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • ½ large red onion
  • Two tablespoons of unsalted butter

Human beings are known to do a lot over food. The story of African Americans has been shared through dining moments. Similarly, people meet and plan big things over food and associate food with identity. 

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