collard greens

Learn some interesting facts about soul food for National Soul Food Month


Soul food is a cuisine steeped in tradition. One-pot meals cooked on a shelf above the fireplace started in the humble kitchens of African American slaves. Families had little to work with, but they did have memories of their homes and affection for their loved ones, which shine through in the wonderful dishes.

The Culinary Historians of Chicago created National Soul Food Month to draw attention to the culture that surrounds soul food.


Interesting Facts About Soul Food


The Term “Soul Food” Didn’t Exist Before the 1960s

With the rise of the civil rights and Black Nationalism movements during that time, many African Americans wanted to establish their cultural legacy. Terms like “soul music” made way for “soul food” to describe the food that their ancestors had been cooking for generations.


The Traditional West African Diet was Mostly Vegetarian

Many think soul food came from a tradition of cooking a bunch of hog maws and fried chicken, but traditionally large portions of meat were saved for special occasions. For thousands of years, the traditional West African diet was mostly vegetarian, centered on things like millet, rice, okra, hot peppers, and yams – all food incorporated into today’s soul food.


Collard Greens have Been Eaten for at Least 2000 Years

It’s believed that even Ancient Greeks even ate collard greens. In soul cooking, collard greens are typically boiled down in a pot of salted water with a piece of smoked meat like a ham hock or turkey leg, and it’s a soul food classic.


Soul Food is the Epitome of Slow Food

In soul cooking, patience is essential. We all know things taste better when they are cooked low and slow, especially meats. 


Red isn’t Just a Color

Whether it’s strawberry, cherry, or tropical punch, “red” is the official soul-food drink. 

Red lemonade was immensely popular with African Americans attending circuses and Emancipation celebrations in the 1870s and 1880s. Red carbonated beverages became more commonly available in the 1890s, and they became the drink of choice until the 1920s when Kool-Aid and other powdered drinks arrived on the market.


Soul Food has African, Native American, and European Roots

Soul Food’s roots and influences encompass Native American, European, and African culinary traditions and ingredients and is considered to be one of the earliest examples of culinary fusion. 


The Gospel Bird

Fried chicken’s long preparation time played a role in the gradual development of the Gospel Bird. Slaves, including field cooks, had the most free time on weekends and holidays to butcher chickens, bread them and fry them.


Getcha Some Soul Food

Whether you’re looking to try some oxtails or have a hankering for rib tips and collard greens, you gotta getcha some soul food at Daiquiri Depot!

Daiquiri Depot has some of the most traditional soul food dishes in the DFW area


By Leslie Radford
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