Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora

4 Color. Oct. 2021. 320p. ed. by Bryant Terry. ISBN 9781984859723. $40. COOKING
In his latest book, award-winning chef Terry (Afro-Vegan; Vegetable Kingdom) brings together chefs, artists, activists, and scholars to reflect on culinary histories of the African diaspora. Terry’s introduction explains how Black cuisines, like their creators, contain multitudes. The book’s contents include essays on Black food history (Michael W. Twitty’s text on food and migration) and recipes (Erika Council’s vegan sweet potato coconut biscuits; Terry’s grape-tarragon spritzer), plus other contributions from Black chefs (BJ Dennis, Mashama Bailey, Nina Compton). The book recalls Marcus Samuelsson’s The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food, in that each of its book’s sections invites readers to reflect on a specific ingredient like rice or a broader subject, like food as sustenance. Chapters on Black women’s contributions to and Black queer influences on the diaspora are standouts.
VERDICT Whether read straight through or browsed section by section, this meaningful book brings Black foodways into focus and will leave a lasting impact.
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