February is Black History Month. For all Americans, it is an opportunity to reflect and remember the legacy and ongoing contributions of African Americans, not only in the USA, but throughout the Americas — the Caribbean, Mexico, North, Central and South America.
At The Healthy Dish, I’ve been writing about the foods of Africa in the Americas. Healthy African foods have been part of the America culinary scene in the U.S.A., throughout the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico. For example, George Washington Carver, who was born a slave invented peanut butter and hundreds of other products. George Crum, a Native American/African American, created the potato chips in 1853.
The first healthy foods I ate came from the Afro-Caribbean (along with Taino and European) culinary culture. I grew up eating them though never labeled as African American or African Caribbean food. They were my family’s food — part of my heritage. In New York City where I grew up and later in Puerto Rico where I did my undergraduate, those foods were part of our much loved culinary heritage. They were the foods my parents prepared every day. Food and stories about them that I’m sharing at TheHealthyDish.com with my readers. One of my favorites is ‘Arroz con gandules’ (rice with pigeon beans), okra, yuca, also known as cassava, black eye peas (cowpea), millet, sorghum, teff, collard greens and other foods have been a product of the merger of our cultures over 300 years ago. Puerto Rico is a clear example of 500 years of American history where our food — the Native American, European and African-American converges — in that order. To find information and recipes on my blog, do a recipe search. Type: Africa, or whatever search term. You will find several pages of recipes and perhaps articles on the topic of Africa, though most of food — and, of course, healthy and gluten free, which usually comes naturally in this culinary culture. Below I’ve shared links to many of my favorite foods with African ties.
Black History Month’s “Famous African Americans chart” above you may use only under Creative Commons attributions and link back here as stated below: