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Soul Food Staples for Black History Month

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Soul food is more than just collard greens and cornbread, it has its roots deep in African American culture dating all the way back to slavery. Since then, it has become so ingrained in our palates that on more menus than not, you can see soul food staples being featured. Follow along as we take you through some of our favorite soul food dishes.

Main Dishes
When it comes to soul food, there are a few main dishes that you can’t go wrong with. Fried fish and fried chicken are two of the most popular - and for good reason. With crispy breading, a hearty blend of spices and a whole lot of love, fried fish and chicken go with just about any soul food side you can think of. Finally, we have the ham hock. Whether you’re braising it, adding it to a black-eyed pea soup or just serving with some greens, the ham hock will add a delicious and savory element to your soul food cooking.

Sides
Sides on a soul food menu are just as important, if not more so, than the main dishes. Always a crowd favorite, no soul food meal is complete without an extravagantly cheesy mac and cheese. And the best part? It’s even sometimes baked to add a crispy layer of bread crumbs over the top. Then we have blackeyed peas and greens to get those veggies in, but these are no ordinary veggies. The collard greens are simmered in a broth made by either a turkey leg or a ham hock. Yes, please!

Dessert
After you’ve devoured your main course and sides, it’s time for a little something sweet (if you have room). Sweet potato pie makes more than just a Thanksgiving appearance when it comes to soul food. Buttery crust, brown sugar and of course tender sweet potato. Enough said. If sweet potatoes aren’t your thing, you can always enjoy that same buttery crust in a peach cobbler.

Food is a great way to experience and learn about other cultures and during Black History Month, we wanted to share our love of traditionally black foods with you. In addition to getting your soul food fix, the best way to celebrate Black History Month is to support black-owned businesses not only in February, but also all year long! A few we’d love to shout out are Virtue featuring Chef Erick Williams, Peaches featuring Chef Cliff Rome, Rouxsters Cookhouse featuring Chef John Meyer, Cleo’s Southern Kitchen featuring Chef Kristen Harper, Brown Sugar Bakery owned by Stephanie Hart and Sweet Maple Cafe owned by Laurene Joy Hynson