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Recipes by:  Charles, Dora. A Real Southern Cook: In Her Savannah Kitchen . HMH Books. Kindle Edition.


Soul food is basic, down-home cooking with its roots in the rural South. The staples of soul food cooking are beans, greens, cornmeal (used in cornbread, hush puppies, and johnnycakes and as a coating for fried fish), and pork. Pork has an almost limitless number of uses in soul food. Many parts of the pig are used, like pigs’ feet, ham hocks, pig ears, and hog jowl. Pork fat is used for frying and as an ingredient in slowly cooked greens. Sweet, cold drinks are always a favorite.

 

To many Americans, all that just sounds like a description of Southern food. The distinctions between soul and Southern are hard to make. In his "Soul Food Cookbook" (1969), Bob Jeffries summed it up this way: “While all soul food is Southern food, not all Southern food is soul. Soul food cooking is an example of how really good Southern [African American] cooks cooked with what they had available to them.”

 

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