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The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty
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The Cooking Gene

A Journey Through African-american Culinary History in the Old South

$22.99 USD

Get for $14.99 with membership
Length 15 hours 20 minutes
Language English
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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 He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and visits Civil War battlefields in Virginia, synagogues in Alabama, and black-owned organic farms in Georgia.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 deepโ€”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.

Michael W. Twitty is a noted culinary and cultural historian and the creator of Afroculinaria, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacies. He has been honored by FirstWeFeast.com as one of the twenty greatest food bloggers of all time, and named one of the "Fifty People Who Are Changing the South" by Southern Living and one of the "Five Cheftavists to Watch" by TakePart.com. Twitty has appeared throughout the media, including on NPR's The Splendid Table, and has given more than 250 talks in the United States and abroad. His work has appeared in Ebony, the Guardian, and on NPR.org. He is also a Smith fellow with the Southern Foodways Alliance, a TED fellow and speaker, and the first Revolutionary in Residence at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Twitty lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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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 Expand reviews
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