It’s June, National Soul Food Month!
“Soul Food is a cuisine,” says Chef Todd Richards author of Soul. Soul Food is flexible, it is vegan and omnivorous. It has a particular and powerful history and an extraordinary future. It is transregional and ultimately personal. Soul is not fast food plus junk food plus Southern black-cooked unhealthy comfort/celebratory food. Soul Food is a tradition and a narrative that is ennobling. It is not nor has it ever been a pathology.
We begin National Soul Food Month by celebrating all of the possibilities of Soul cuisine. We celebrate the survival, the creativity and improvisation, the layered coding and the transcendental spirit of our cuisine. We celebrate the conversation it has with other cuisines. We honor its Ancestors and bless the hands of those who carry it forward.
We respect that Soul Food is not a stereotype, it is a language. Soul Food is a response to a call. Soul Food is a love letter to the spirit and stomach. Soul Food is cultural power and capital. Soul Food is a crown.
Let’s get into this with a traditional soul answer to beef stew. What inspired me were two Gullah-Geechee
. They draw their flavor from green pepper and sweet potatoes and echo stews described by Charles Ball who lived enslaved in early 19th century South Carolina. It is of course, eaten with rice and speaks to a fusion of West and Central African, Northern European and Southeastern Native American culinary roots. Enjoy!
Gullah-Geechee Beef Stew
3 pounds of beef short ribs
(white or yellow fleshed preferred)
Be sure to get your #NationalSoulFoodMonth reading on with my book, two time James Beard Award winner, #TheCookingGene. Buying my book supports this blog and my ability to research and tell our story. Thank you! If you like this post, please share!