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Publisher's Summary

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who "owns" it is one of the most provocative touchpoints in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes listeners 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.
Twitty travels from the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields to tell of the struggles his family faced and how food enabled his ancestors' survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and visits Civil War battlefields in Virginia, synagogues in Alabama, and black-owned organic farms in Georgia.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 South's past.
Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep - the power of food to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.
©2017 Michael W. Twitty (P)2018 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Twitty ably joins past and present, puzzling out culinary mysteries along the way.... An exemplary, inviting exploration and an inspiration for cooks and genealogists alike." (Kirkus, Starred Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mrs. Debra E. Humm-bremser on 06-07-18

Finding your roots through your belly

As someone who’s also drawn to ancestry, it’s intuitive that you are preceded by countless humans. Because Twitty’s family tree is so culturally and colorfully varied, those numbers are powerfully illustrated. The food is an added bonus to that story!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By ayodele higgs on 05-30-18

Beautifully Written

I loved this genealogical study. I loved the stories of the history of African American cuisine. Bravo!!!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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