Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time

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University of North Carolina Press, 2013 - Cooking - 332 pages
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2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award, Reference and Scholarship

Honor Book for Nonfiction, Black Caucus of the American Library Association



In this insightful and eclectic history, Adrian Miller delves into the influences, ingredients, and innovations that make up the soul food tradition. Focusing each chapter on the culinary and social history of one dish--such as fried chicken, chitlins, yams, greens, and "red drinks--Miller uncovers how it got on the soul food plate and what it means for African American culture and identity.

Miller argues that the story is more complex and surprising than commonly thought. Four centuries in the making, and fusing European, Native American, and West African cuisines, soul food--in all its fried, pork-infused, and sugary glory--is but one aspect of African American culinary heritage. Miller discusses how soul food has become incorporated into American culture and explores its connections to identity politics, bad health raps, and healthier alternatives. This refreshing look at one of America's most celebrated, mythologized, and maligned cuisines is enriched by spirited sidebars, photographs, and twenty-two recipes.

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Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time

User Review  - Book Verdict

While many aspects of African American culture have been embraced by the mainstream, Miller contends that soul food remains largely ignored, mostly owing to its unhealthy image. In an attempt to ... Read full review

SOUL FOOD: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time

User Review  - Kirkus

Delving deep into the culinary (and social) history of one of America's oldest cuisines: soul food.During the 1960s and '70s, soul food came out of the kitchen and into the spotlight, brought to the ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Adrian Miller is a writer, attorney, and certified barbecue judge who lives in Denver, CO. He served as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton, a senior policy analyst for Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Jr., and a Southern Foodways Alliance board member.

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