SoundBalming with LaMarr Darnell Shields

"Vegan Soul Food" is Not an Oxymoron

December 11, 2019
SoundBalming with LaMarr Darnell Shields
"Vegan Soul Food" is Not an Oxymoron
Chapters
SoundBalming with LaMarr Darnell Shields
"Vegan Soul Food" is Not an Oxymoron
Dec 11, 2019
Gregory Brown, Owner, Land of Kush Vegan Restaurant

I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the country telling folks about the history of soul food. Along the way, I learned a sure-fire way to bring an energetic audience into a stunned silence. I tell them that “vegan” is the hottest trend in soul food. Many African Americans have gnashed their teeth (some have even wailed) after hearing this news. Why? Because vegan cuisine, with its lack of animal products (dairy, lard and meat) is so completely at odds with what the food they grew up eating in their parents’ or grandparents’ kitchen. No fried chicken or catfish? Greens without any ham hocks? No macaroni and cheese? Yes, they have a point, but when one takes a peek further back into African American culinary history, one comes away with a surprising conclusion. The words “vegan” and “soul food” actually can belong in the same sentence, and Greg Brown does a great job of explaining it.

Show Notes

I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the country telling folks about the history of soul food. Along the way, I learned a sure-fire way to bring an energetic audience into a stunned silence. I tell them that “vegan” is the hottest trend in soul food. Many African Americans have gnashed their teeth (some have even wailed) after hearing this news. Why? Because vegan cuisine, with its lack of animal products (dairy, lard and meat) is so completely at odds with what the food they grew up eating in their parents’ or grandparents’ kitchen. No fried chicken or catfish? Greens without any ham hocks? No macaroni and cheese? Yes, they have a point, but when one takes a peek further back into African American culinary history, one comes away with a surprising conclusion. The words “vegan” and “soul food” actually can belong in the same sentence, and Greg Brown does a great job of explaining it.

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