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Historical perspective


fifi
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I am always interested in the historical aspects of a cuisine. Would you please expound on the history and development of any of your favorite dishes?

Thank you for this Q&A session.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Hi Fifi,

When I was growing up in Alabama we ate rice almost daily. Tomato rice; steamed rice with lots of black pepper; neck bone and rice, my favorite; black-eyed peas and rice or what is known now as Hoppin' John, rice mixed with chicken or sausage and tomatoes for Jambalaya.

There is a South Carolina connection in my maternal line; Grandma Addie is thought to have migrated from South Carolina to Mobile sometimes in the early 1900s. Hence the love of rice.

If I were asked to name one food or crop that best tells the story of our work and struggle and contribution and creative efforts in the Americas, it would have to be the role of African slaves in the cultivation of rice in the Carolinas and Savannah, Georgia. Not only did the slaves cultivate and grow the rice, but they also cooked in the Carolina kitchens, as has been so ably detailed and recorded by my friend and colleague, the culinary historian, Karen Hess.

Many of the dishes that I mentioned above came out of those kitchens, and some historians feel, even Gumbo, which moved on down to New Orleans, and became world famous.

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