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The Cooking Gene: 09/28/20
The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty is a culinary history of Black life in America, wrapped up in his own personal journey of discovering his roots through travel, cooking, and genetic testing. There is a lot of digest here and is a book I plan to re-read in the future because I'm sure I missed a lot on this first pass through it.
Twitty looks at a variety of traditional Black and Southern dishes and uses them to explore the influences of Africa, specifically those countries where slaves were taken from. He looks at crops that were introduced, along with recipes, and the ways in which these foodstuffs were adapted for the Americas and substitutions made with American ingredients.
Along with the food he looks at how messy Black genealogy is because of slavery, because of white men raping and impregnating Black women, of the intermarriage with indigenous peoples which while rare is more common in Black families than white.
I listened to the audiobook version read by the author. He does an excellent job of narrating his work. But with so much covered in this book, especially with words I'm not familiar with, I want to re-read this book in print either a physical copy or an ebook. I'm personally leaning towards ebook to make highlighting easier.