The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty

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Read The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South Online Free - A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who "owns" it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.

From the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields, Twitty tells his family story through the foods that enabled his ancestors’ survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia.

As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the Southern past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep—the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.

Title : The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0062379283
Edition Language : English
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 464 pages


Alexandra rated it ★★★★★

September 13, 2017

I heard Michael Twitty speak on a panel a few years ago, at an event on interpreting African-American history today. Twitty, a gay black Jewish man who passionately talked about culinary history, sparked my interest. He is well known for cooking meals on plantations in the American South using on...

Gail rated it ★★★★☆

August 11, 2017

I had a complicated experience reading this book. On the whole, it rates 4* for the important and fascinating information on the history of enslavement in America, the culinary history of Southern food, and the way in which DNA can guide a genealogical project. But the book is not without its fla...

Claire rated it ★★★★★

June 22, 2017

Michael Twitty has penned a sweeping memoir enriched with interleaved stories of the African Slave experience. As a culinary historian who delves into the African contribution to American cooking and a docent in a living history center demonstrating slave cooking, Michael used those resources as...

Rebecca rated it ★★★★★

September 11, 2017

Twitty provides a fascinating look into how African cooking during the Slave Trade influenced the modern day and historic foods we associate with Southern cooking today, and how climate, cash crops, and the violence visited upon the enslaved all are evident in the cuisine. It's a deep dive into h...

Sarah rated it ★★★★★

September 18, 2017

Michael Twitty takes you on a journey into his family's past, searching for the roots of Southern cooking. Along the way, we are reminded of why the history of slavery is not a "thing of the past" and how it still affects all of us today. Anyone who has eaten barbeque, had a loaf of southern styl...

Ben rated it ★★★★★

September 13, 2017

Culinary Sociology and Genealogy 101. I preordered "The Cooking Gene" months ago and eagerly awaited its arrival. My own hype was immediately satisfied as I turned to the first page. I quickly became engrossed by Michael Twitty's wonderful, inviting storytelling. This is the story not only of his...

Teresa rated it ★★★★★

August 04, 2017

I just finished reading The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty. This book is nothing short of a declaration of truth on so many levels. It is about Twitty's life and him coming into his own, about all the ancestors who contributed to his DNA, and about the cultural transfers of food that came with th...

AKA rated it ★★★★★

August 27, 2017

This book defies easy categorization - it's a culinary history, a personal archaeo-genealogical quest, a funny and powerful autobiography, and also has some *excellent* recipes. I discovered Twitty through his work reenacting the life and foodways of the enslaved on Youtube (via the Townsends chan...

Linda rated it ★★★★☆

September 07, 2017

Michael Twitty's book "The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South" was both a personal and national history of traditional southern cooking roots. Twitty uses his own experiences and history to show the origins of the southern American cooking style. It...

Kiwi rated it ★★★★★

September 06, 2017

This memoir is full of beautiful writing, deep feeling, lots of historical research, and even a few recipes. Michael Twitty's musings on how enslaved people created Southern cooking are more than fascinating; they are moving. I enjoyed his exploration of the journey of New World foods to Europe a...

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