Is BBQ related to Soul Food?

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matilda
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/11 23:02:43 (permalink)
"Soul food is an American cuisine, a selection of foods, typically associated with African Americans of the Southern United States. In the mid-1960s, when the Civil Rights Movement was just beginning, 'soul' was a common adjective used to describe African American culture, and thus the name 'soul food' was derived."

More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_food
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/11 23:43:49 (permalink)
This is an interesting little topic, isn't it? I'm from Dallas, but I never acquired a taste for Bar-B-Que or Soul Food, per se. Perhaps because I was in CT from year 5-10. Whatever. There are things associated with both that I love. Cornbread. Hush puppies. Corn on or off the cob. Tater tots. Biscuits (no gravy, just butter please). I guess the tater tots are pretty white trash, like me. I've always been kind of vegetarian, so I can't comment much about ribs and such. And I'm 51! Also, I don't know from okra and collard greens. I think the line between BBQ & SF is so blurred that no one can separate them. One of the most successful "BBQ" operations here in Downtown LA is called "The Original Texas Bar-B-Que King", and it's a total blend of BBQ & SF. A really funky place, with 55 gallon drums as smokers, etc, and run by black folks, with macaroni & cheese, chili fries, the whole enchilada. So go figure.
Here's another question... Where would you place New Orleans cuisine? I mean, I'm pretty sure BBQ would include 'gator tails, right? But what about mudbugs? Are crayfish soul food? I guess they are not BBQ. No sauce involved. OK, off topic.
As for the German influence, well, I never thought about that before, but it is true that many Germans arrived in Texas a long time ago. I don't see them contributing a lot to BBQ, BUT: the theory about Chicken Fried Steak is somewhat plausible. I'm sure any Irish arriving on these shores also brought yummy potato concepts along. Off topic again, what's interesting about both BBQ, as I understand it, and SF, is a kind of childlike blandness, wherein there is NOT a lot of spiciness per se. New Orleans is spicy, but regular SF just is not. And BBQ can be tangy, or whatever, but not hot the way chili is, right? BBQ seems to be based on sugar and smoke. Which is fine. I happen to like something with more bite, but that's just me.

-Scott Lindgren scottlindgren@netzero.net
#32
Foodbme
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/11 23:59:15 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by iqdiva

Here you are Foodbme...I hope you like this puddin'...It's one of m family's all-time favorite comfort foods :

" MISS SUSAN'S BISCUIT PUDDIN' "

My family's recipe originally called for whole sweet milk , which to Southerners means just regular whole milk.But,I use evaporated milk because it gives a richer taste...If you can't have sugar , you can substitute Splenda...

6 cold biscuits , I use good old fashioned homemade Southern biscuits leftover from breakfast
1 cup evaporated milk
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter , melted
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Soak crumbled biscuits in hot water for a few minutes; add sugar, butter, nutmeg, raisins, beaten eggs, and milk, mixing after each addition. Pour into 1-quart greased baking dish; bake in preheated 350° oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until browned.


THANX Diva!! I make killer biscuits almost every weekend and there's always some left. I'll sure give this a whirl! Sounds great!
#33
matilda
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 00:15:37 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by salindgren

This is an interesting little topic, isn't it? I'm from Dallas, but I never acquired a taste for Bar-B-Que or Soul Food, per se. Perhaps because I was in CT from year 5-10. Whatever. There are things associated with both that I love. Cornbread. Hush puppies. Corn on or off the cob. Tater tots. Biscuits (no gravy, just butter please). I guess the tater tots are pretty white trash, like me. I've always been kind of vegetarian, so I can't comment much about ribs and such. And I'm 51! Also, I don't know from okra and collard greens. I think the line between BBQ & SF is so blurred that no one can separate them. One of the most successful "BBQ" operations here in Downtown LA is called "The Original Texas Bar-B-Que King", and it's a total blend of BBQ & SF. A really funky place, with 55 gallon drums as smokers, etc, and run by black folks, with macaroni & cheese, chili fries, the whole enchilada. So go figure.
Here's another question... Where would you place New Orleans cuisine? I mean, I'm pretty sure BBQ would include 'gator tails, right? But what about mudbugs? Are crayfish soul food? I guess they are not BBQ. No sauce involved. OK, off topic.
As for the German influence, well, I never thought about that before, but it is true that many Germans arrived in Texas a long time ago. I don't see them contributing a lot to BBQ, BUT: the theory about Chicken Fried Steak is somewhat plausible. I'm sure any Irish arriving on these shores also brought yummy potato concepts along. Off topic again, what's interesting about both BBQ, as I understand it, and SF, is a kind of childlike blandness, wherein there is NOT a lot of spiciness per se. New Orleans is spicy, but regular SF just is not. And BBQ can be tangy, or whatever, but not hot the way chili is, right? BBQ seems to be based on sugar and smoke. Which is fine. I happen to like something with more bite, but that's just me.

-Scott Lindgren scottlindgren@netzero.net



When I think of LA, if you're talking about Louisiana, I think Cajun and Creole. If you're talking Los Angeles, I think Wolfgang Puck!! LOL!!!
#34
Dr of BBQ
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 01:58:58 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by salindgren
I never acquired a taste for Bar-B-Que or Soul Food, per se. I've always been kind of vegetarian, so I can't comment much about ribs and such. I think the line between BBQ & SF is so blurred that no one can separate them.

Where would you place New Orleans cuisine? I mean, I'm pretty sure BBQ would include 'gator tails, right? But what about mudbugs? Are crayfish soul food? I guess they are not BBQ. No sauce involved. What's interesting about both BBQ, as I understand it, and SF, is a kind of childlike blandness, wherein there is NOT a lot of spiciness per se. New Orleans is spicy, but regular SF just is not. And BBQ can be tangy, or whatever, but not hot the way chili is, right? BBQ seems to be based on sugar and smoke. Which is fine. I happen to like something with more bite, but that's just me.


Scott,
At 51 you truly have lead a sheltered life.

First of all I promise you there is NO LINE between BBQ and SOUL FOOD.
BBQ (smoked meats) are spicy. If it’s not your doing it wrong.
Good BBQ (smoked meats) requires NO SAUCE. It’s a method not a recipe.

More importantly food from New Orleans is spicy and most of it was originally a mixture of French and Poor People’s Food. Soul Food/ Country Food they are interchangeable, is what ever was very readily available and thus cheap, in any particular area. The people in the New Orleans area were of two classes and both lived to eat. The difference between Creole and Cajun cooking is simple. Creoles were rich planters and their kitchens aspired to grande cuisine. Their recipes came from France or Spain as did their chefs. By using classic French techniques with local foodstuffs, they created a whole new cuisine, called Creole cooking.

If you look up Creole in the dictionary you'll find:
3: a person of mixed French or Spanish and black descent speaking a dialect of French or Spanish
4 a: a language evolved from pidginized French that is spoken by blacks in southern Louisiana. How could it not be Soul Food?

On the other hand, the Acadians, pronounced <uh-CADE-ee-uns>, later contracted to Cajun, were a tough (very poor, mixture of whites, blacks, and slaves) used to living under strenuous conditions. They tended to serve strong country food prepared from locally available ingredients, crab, river shrimp, lake shrimp, oysters, crawfish, freshwater and saltwater fish, plus squirrels, wild turkeys, ducks, frogs, turtles, pork, homemade sausages, beans of all kinds, tomatoes, okra, yams, pecans, oranges and wines, liqueurs and brandy. It was pungent, peppery and practical since it was all cooked in a single pot. Thus Cajun cuisine was born. They were poor, how poor were they? They only had one pot. LOL

Blacks were almost always poor as were many many whites, as per above. So in New Orleans you had farm pigs, rice, mud bugs, seafood, and wild game be it gators, rabbits, deer, fish, wild pigs, and the list goes on and on. People as I touched on earlier, ate what they could shoot, trap, raise, trade for, or could be grown on very small plots of land or in gardens.


In the fall after harvest, people met in villages, or towns and traded what they had an abundance of for what they were short of. When they met they exchanged methods of cooking, or preparing what ever they were presenting for trade. Today we call them recipes.

Smoking foods especially all meats was a way to preserve them, because there were no refrigerators or ice. You had two choices in that period, one was kill and butcher the hog or hogs if you were rich enough to have a couple, and render the fat. As you had big cast iron pots of hog fat you cut and smoked the pork chops and other parts of the hog. After smoking you put a one or two-inch layer of hot fat in the bottom of a wooden barrel and lay the pork chops on top. Then you add more fat and cover the chops and add another layer of pork meat. The process went on and on until you had covered all of your meat in fresh lard. Then you reversed the procedure, as you ate the hog over the next year. It never spoiled and in fact would have tasted much better than today’s pork.

Another way to preserve meat was with smoke, or spices or both. I won’t go into that for now but that is BBQ/smoking, not to be confused with grilling..

Ok like all my post this is way to long and for that I apologize. But allow me to finish this thought and in my usual non-cp manner. At numerous points all over the country white slave owners, and people that had the means of land ownership discovered that slaves, and non- slave poor blacks, cajuns, and other poor white trash, (LMAO) were cooking some great meals using scrap meats, wild game, and what ever they had on hand. So they stole the methods, and recipes, and made them their family favorites. That’s why today you’re having this discussion and are having a hard time differentiating between Soul Food, Country Cooking, and your Aunt Clarie's Cooking. LOL Again I apologize for the length of my post but I always wanted to write a book on this topic.

Jack






#35
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 09:36:12 (permalink)
In KC growing up, BBQ was always classified as "White" or Black", because of taste, method, and Origin. Black was always spicier, smokier, White less so. Migration patterns meant 2 styles in one. This line is obscured now more than 40 years ago, I think. So if you think Soul Food is descended from Slave food, then that's why I say they can be related, but not necessarily.
#36
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 10:31:32 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by bill voss
In KC growing up, BBQ was always classified as "White" or Black", because of taste, method, and Origin. Black was always spicier, smokier, White less so. Migration patterns meant 2 styles in one. This line is obscured now more than 40 years ago, I think. So if you think Soul Food is descended from Slave food, then that's why I say they can be related, but not necessarily.


Bill,
I’d have to ask where did the original cooking method come from? Maybe that’s the difference in opinion here. My contention here is scrap meats were not high on the list of effluent people in the early days.Who was poor, slaves in the south, and non slave blacks, in the north.

But poor people no matter what their color were forced to eat what ever they could afford. So came ribs and BBQ because they were considered scrap cuts.

I’m not saying your wrong in differences in taste, spiciness, or even style but please just go one step back to the people that started the wonderful thing we call BBQ today.

It was poor people that were forced to eat the lesser cuts of beef and pork and the ingenious ways they figured out to make those cuts tender, juicy, and a delight to us all.

One last thought, lets compare it to another popular food item, chicken wings. I doubt anyone will deny that they were a popular item within the black and poor community for years and years. You could buy them for 10 cents per Lb. But after the Anchor Bar started selling them their popularity soared and so did the price. Chicken wings were a scrap meat, no demand and thus cheap prices but poor people smoked them, fried them and thus consumed them for years and years, because they were cheap. Then more effluent people discovered them and now the demand and price per Lb is outrageous

Jack
#37
1bbqboy
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 11:13:01 (permalink)
I'm no expert, Dr, just my observations growing up. I would say the White bbq descended from the Southern Country Tradition as discussed previously. The Black BBQ is pretty well documented as to Henry Perry's path from Memphis and steamboats to KC, and Arthur and Charlie Bryant being from Texas.
I went to school with both Riekes, immigrant truck farmers, and Quicks, thus my knowledge of white folks BBQ
It's alll good.
http://www.centredaily.com/living/food/story/198298.html
#38
edwmax
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 12:15:53 (permalink)
"Soul Food" is ethnic food of the African American culture. The "Southern" food that I cook including BBQ IS NOT "Soul Food".

The local AME Minister does not come by and pray "AMEN, Glory Hallelujah" over my food as it's cooking.

A lot of Afro-American restaurants cook "Southern" style food and call it "Soul Food". That does not make it so, as the food and preparation style originated outside of the African, slave or Afro-American cultures.

Just my 2 cent worth.
#39
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 12:25:30 (permalink)
An argument can be made that it is soul food because in the early days of the method it was performed mostly by black men. The only difference being the geographical area which determined the meat cooked.
#40
edwmax
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 12:30:31 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Dr of BBQ



...One last thought, lets compare it to another popular food item, chicken wings. ...



Today it's chicken feet. For years no one would eat them. The feet were either sold to the Dog Food plants or ground up and processed as chicken feed. Now because of the Oriental influence, chicken feet are on the supermarket shelves at $1.49/lb while chicken leg quarters are 49 cents /lb.

Go figure??? But fried/stewed chicken feet is not "Soul Food".
#41
matilda
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 12:37:56 (permalink)
chicken feet = chicken feed

I'm sure it's true but something doesn't seem right at all about it.
Cannibalistic seeming.
#42
1bbqboy
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 12:49:56 (permalink)
So soul food has to be cooked by black folks? Or thought up by black folks? Or.....I'm confused by what you mean edwmax.
#43
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 12:53:26 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by matilda

chicken feet = chicken feed

I'm sure it's true but something doesn't seem right at all about it.
Cannibalistic seeming.


Yes it's true. Also, Bones, feathers and blood were used. I'm not sure how much of that is still used today since the "madcow" scare.
#44
matilda
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 12:56:26 (permalink)
I can't decide if you'd need to be very hungry or not hungry at all to feast on these feets.
http://www.google.com/search?q=chicken+feet&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GFRD

IMHO, it would be a feat to feast on feet.
#45
iqdiva
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 12:59:23 (permalink)
That & chittlin's...I just can't eat chittlin's
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matilda
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 13:01:08 (permalink)
Chitlin's are nasty. When Sally has the Strut it stinks for miles around, to me.
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 13:03:17 (permalink)
You ain't kiddin Matilda ! LOL...
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 13:29:40 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by bill voss

So soul food has to be cooked by black folks? Or thought up by black folks? Or.....I'm confused by what you mean edwmax.


I'm simple saying that "Soul Food" is an ethic food originating from the African, slave or Afro-American cultures. Just because a dish/food from other cultures is cooked by a Black man/woman and served does not make it Soul Food.

However, there are those that proclaim any food that is cooked by a black man/woman as being "Soul Food". This is simply too broad of a definition.

To me as I see it. Soul Food restruants all have a basic menu in common and that is; collard/turnip greens, beans/peas, mash potatoes, fried chicken, pork chops, BBQ pork ribs, ham, and fat back. Served plated or the meats served as a sandwich with bone included. So using this as a definition, Soul Food is “Southern Cooking” serving a basic low cost meal as listed prepared by a Black cook catering mostly to the Black community.
#49
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 13:38:09 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by matilda

I can't decide if you'd need to be very hungry or not hungry at all to feast on these feets.
http://www.google.com/search?q=chicken+feet&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GFRD

IMHO, it would be a feat to feast on feet.


I've eaten both duck feet and chicken feet at an oriental restaurant. The duck foot has more meat on it, but not much.

But to pay $1.49/lb for chicken feet, which is just a pile of bones and toe nails, just no way!

#50
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 13:45:07 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by matilda

I can't decide if you'd need to be very hungry or not hungry at all to feast on these feets.
http://www.google.com/search?q=chicken+feet&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GFRD

IMHO, it would be a feat to feast on feet.


Some wounder why there are no fat oriental people.ROTFL
#51
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 18:55:32 (permalink)
BBQ is not Soul Food. BBQ was around long before the term Soul Food was applied. Nailing down what is and is not soul food is hard. The same dish could be called chicken fried steak, wiener schnitzel or milanesa depending on where you buy it.

Someone mentioned there was no German influence in Texas BBQ, I will have to argue that point. German BBQ is what you get in central hill country Texas. And is different from Dallas or Houston or West Texas BBQ and sausage is very different if it has German, Czeck, Mexican or Polish influence.

joe
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 19:19:19 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by edwmax

quote:
Originally posted by bill voss

So soul food has to be cooked by black folks? Or thought up by black folks? Or.....I'm confused by what you mean edwmax.


I'm simple saying that "Soul Food" is an ethic food originating from the African, slave or Afro-American cultures. Just because a dish/food from other cultures is cooked by a Black man/woman and served does not make it Soul Food.

However, there are those that proclaim any food that is cooked by a black man/woman as being "Soul Food". This is simply too broad of a definition.

To me as I see it. Soul Food restruants all have a basic menu in common and that is; collard/turnip greens, beans/peas, mash potatoes, fried chicken, pork chops, BBQ pork ribs, ham, and fat back. Served plated or the meats served as a sandwich with bone included. So using this as a definition, Soul Food is “Southern Cooking” serving a basic low cost meal as listed prepared by a Black cook catering mostly to the Black community.


Solid!
#53
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 20:28:37 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by bill voss

In KC growing up, BBQ was always classified as "White" or Black", because of taste, method, and Origin. Black was always spicier, smokier, White less so. Migration patterns meant 2 styles in one. This line is obscured now more than 40 years ago, I think. So if you think Soul Food is descended from Slave food, then that's why I say they can be related, but not necessarily.
hey bill,

As someone who has eaten in a wide range of KC's best Greashouses, and also as someone who will be back in town for Christmas, and who will be looking for some new places to tuck in, I would be interested in getting some specific examples of how the Black/White 'Que breaks down in your mind.

Arthur Bryant's, Gates, LC's are obvious representatives of the Black Barbecue experience. Any others? How about the other, "paler" side of the coin?

We're in town from the 20th through the 30th. We have our favorites that are "must" visits. But we'll also be looking for some new spots to explore.

So whaddaya think bill?

Buddy

P.S. Sorry to all for the temporary hijack of this thread. Thank you for your indulgence.

B.
#54
rouxdog
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 20:48:48 (permalink)
I believe barbecue and soul food are kissing cousins.
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ann peeples
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 21:32:46 (permalink)
Me, too!!!
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 21:33:21 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BuddyRoadhouse

quote:
Originally posted by bill voss

In KC growing up, BBQ was always classified as "White" or Black", because of taste, method, and Origin. Black was always spicier, smokier, White less so. Migration patterns meant 2 styles in one. This line is obscured now more than 40 years ago, I think. So if you think Soul Food is descended from Slave food, then that's why I say they can be related, but not necessarily.
hey bill,

As someone who has eaten in a wide range of KC's best Greashouses, and also as someone who will be back in town for Christmas, and who will be looking for some new places to tuck in, I would be interested in getting some specific examples of how the Black/White 'Que breaks down in your mind.

Arthur Bryant's, Gates, LC's are obvious representatives of the Black Barbecue experience. Any others? How about the other, "paler" side of the coin?

We're in town from the 20th through the 30th. We have our favorites that are "must" visits. But we'll also be looking for some new spots to explore.

So whaddaya think bill?

Buddy

P.S. Sorry to all for the temporary hijack of this thread. Thank you for your indulgence.

B.


Hey buddy, we actually discussed some of this here:
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8881#137815
Since I'm an expat, this is where Z and Keith need to weigh in. Have you ever been to smokin' guns, ribdog's buddies?
#57
ann peeples
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 21:55:11 (permalink)

But poor people no matter what their color were forced to eat what ever they could afford. So came ribs and BBQ because they were considered scrap cuts.
My point was my greatgrandparents were German, and my Mom grew up eating(1923-2004)what people all over this site are describing as "soul food".
#58
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 23:16:57 (permalink)
Barbeque is related to soul food as chopped liver is related to lutefisk.
#59
rouxdog
Double Chili Cheeseburger
  • Total Posts : 1421
  • Joined: 2005/03/18 10:36:00
  • Location: Carrizozo, NM
  • Status: offline
RE: Is BBQ related to Soul Food? 2007/12/12 23:17:29 (permalink)
Amongst the most memorable and DELICIOUS food I've ever enjoyed was soulfood and barbecue. MANY experiences I fondly remember. Not just the delicious food I enjoyed, more importantly, the absolutely terrific folks who prepared and lovingly served their offerings.
#60
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