The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South
By Michael Tweety
If you love food and care about culture and history, this is an important book to read.
If you are an America who eats, this is an important book to read.
If you are white and have any connections to the south, this is an important book to read.
Michael Twitty is a historian and through this book a poet. He leads you on journey of Southern food through his roots, not chronologically, or scientifically, but by feeling. He reveals a great deal of his life, that of the those within the great diversity of African Americans, and the “forgotten” histories which we are not taught in school.
This book could be classified as poetry as much as historical/culinary non-fiction. His prose and way of speaking transport you to scenes of the past, many of which are far closer that we want to believe. Slavery was a horror and the nature of “the other” in main stream American culture has not gone a way. This injustice continues in big and little ways, many of which cut to the roots of identity and self.
Michael both explores and begins heals these pains with food and knowledge.