Friday, May 29, 2015

Remembering the Ice Man

Eating ice cream in downtown San Augustine, Texas in 1939
In writing my first food history book Hog and Hominy, I interviewed my father Fred Opie Jr. Out of that conversation came a story about an ice cream related job he had as a boy growing up in the Hudson Valley’s Village of North Tarrytown in New York: 

There were not too many black [owned] businesses [back when I was a boy growing up in North Tarrytown], I can almost count them on my hand. . . . most of the black businesses were moving businesses, moving companies. . . One company was operated by [Mr.] Grant [who also] had an ice business and sold coal by the bag. I actually worked for him when I was a boy . . . in the 40’s because back then everybody had ice boxes you know. And . . . there was a place where you would go and buy large chunks of ice [and he would haul it in his flatbed truck]. He had a real knack for cutting the ice . . . it was a real art to cutting whole pieces of ice . . .  a real science. [We delivered ice to the Glovers, a family that operated a candy shop on Courtland Street that] sold . . . ice cream. (Fred Opie Jr.)


Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FrederickDouglassOpie?ref=hl and Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/DrFredDOpie

Ice Cream Series with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Ice+Cream+Series

Eating Jim Crow Series and  Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Jim+Crow+

Food and My Father, A Culinary Documentary [Watch Now 36 min 20 sec] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chzoRtTyNlA&list=UUPrzRicomu8P0nhYjLy-0OA

Fred Opie's New Books
     Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black-Latino Coalitions in New York City from Protest to Public Office: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/upsetting-the-apple-cart/9780231149402

     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Langston Hughes, The Book Tour in The Jim Crow South

The noted Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes recalls a 1930s book tour experience in the south. “White authors and lecturers on a similar tour could always take refuge at a hotel after a program.” But Jim Crow laws barred African Americans authors from segregated hotels. As result black speakers “were at the mercy of private hosts in private homes from whom there was no escape.” He explains, “Southerners are great ones for hospitality. Warm and amiable and friendly as it was, I was nevertheless almost killed by entertainment, drowned by punch, gorged on food, and worn out with handshaking.” He concludes, “I must have eaten at least a thousand chickens that winter.” 

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FrederickDouglassOpie?ref=hl and Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/DrFredDOpie

Eating Jim Crow Series and  Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Jim+Crow+

Fred Opie's New Books
     Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black-Latino Coalitions in New York City from Protest to Public Office: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/upsetting-the-apple-cart/9780231149402

     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Video of Butter milk fried chicken recipe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxEhH6MPH28

Video of vegan fried chicken recipe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te6Cv7RTazU

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Jim Crow and The Negro Motorist Green Book

Greyhound rest stop passengers on the way from Louisville, Kentucky to Nashville, Tennessee 1943  
Eating as out as a non-white traveler before the end of Jim Crow and de-facto Jim Crow required savvy, endurance, and thick skin. Purchasing food at “coloured” windows of segregated restaurants could be a degrading and even dangerous experience, says Virginia native Eugene Watts; you never knew when some volatile white southerner behind the counter was going to “go off.” As a result Black folks had their own zagat rated list of restaurants called The Negro Motorist Green Book.

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FrederickDouglassOpie?ref=hl and Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/DrFredDOpie

Eating Jim Crow Series and  Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Jim+Crow+

Fred Opie's New Books
     Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black-Latino Coalitions in New York City from Protest to Public Office: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/upsetting-the-apple-cart/9780231149402

     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

The Negro Motorist Green Book: [Listen Now 16 min 52 sec] http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129885990

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Eating Jim Crow in Baltimore

1937 segregated eatery 
Before the civil rights movements in Baltimore, Jim Crow policies ensured that some restaurants remained separate black spaces. These eateries enabled black folk to collectively relax and recover from the stress of racial public policies and customs in the South. In large part, these eateries flourished due to the Jim Crow laws and customs that restricted public dining options for African-Americans before the US Supreme Court ended the principle of “separate but equal” and affectively began the slow death of Jim Crow segregation in eateries 

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FrederickDouglassOpie?ref=hl and Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/DrFredDOpie

Charlie White's Baltimore, The Store And More: [Listen Now 8 min 52 sec] http://fdopie.podomatic.com/entry/2015-05-19T06_17_28-07_00

Baltimore Food History and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Baltimore+Foodways 

Fred Opie's New Books
     Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black-Latino Coalitions in New York City from Protest to Public Office: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/upsetting-the-apple-cart/9780231149402

     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Monday, May 25, 2015

Army Veteran Reflects on Eating MREs

Lemon Pound Cake, links to this and other recipes below (image from babyelandaily.com)

Let take a look at Memorial Day through the lens of an army vet who reflects on eating Meals Ready To Eat (MREs) in the field.

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FrederickDouglassOpie?ref=hl and Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/DrFredDOpie

Pound Cake Story with Related Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/2011/01/martin-luther-king-jr-series-part-4.html

Civil War Stories with Related Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=civil+war

Camp Food Series: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Camping+Series

Fred Opie's New Books
     Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black-Latino Coalitions in New York City from Protest to Public Office: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/upsetting-the-apple-cart/9780231149402

     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

The History Channel’s Meals Ready to Eat (MRE): [Watch 4 min 26 sec] http://www.history.com/videos/battlefield-meals-ready-to-eat#battlefield-meals-ready-to-eat

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fish Friday,1820 Charleston, South Carolina

Woman fishing from a wharf (Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory)

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FrederickDouglassOpie?ref=hl and Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/DrFredDOpie

Fred Opie's New Books
     Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black-Latino Coalitions in New York City from Protest to Public Office: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/upsetting-the-apple-cart/9780231149402

     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: 
[Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Adam Hodgson’s 19th Century Travel and Account and Food: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Adam+Hodgson

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Crust Food Series, Kibbeh

Kibbeh balls made with pine nuts, recipe below 
Some have traced the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to the consumption of bush meat (wild game) in this instance bats which in some regions people consider them a delicacy - they are must lager than the typical bat in other parts of the world. In this series we provide historical context to the people and regions inundated with the Ebola scourge many of which are Mande. Mande speakers (also identified in historical documents as Mandingo and Mandinka) lived in the geographic area of present-day Liberia. The Mande made a dish called kibbeh which is a ball or torpedo-shaped fried croquette stuffed with minced lamb. “So delicious did I find it,” writes traveler Theodore Canot in the 1800s, “that, even at this distance of time, my mouth waters when I remember the forced meat balls of mutton, minced with roasted ground nuts, that I devoured that night in the Mandingo town of Kya.” 

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FrederickDouglassOpie?ref=hl and Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/DrFredDOpie

Africa in Culinary Context Series & Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Africa+in+Culinary+Context+

West African Foodways and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=West+Africa

Traditional Kibbeh Ball Recipe: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18558097

Vegan Kibbeh Ball Recipe:
http://www.messyvegetariancook.com/2009/01/13/baked-tempeh-kibbeh/

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Crust Food Series, The Knish


Knish, recipes below (image from horinca.blogspot.com 

I started watching hockey games in the 1970s during the height of Boston Bruin Hall of Famer Bobby Orr’s playing career (1966 to 1978). Orr sparked my short lived hockey career which led to many hours and food eaten in hockey rinks in and around Metropolitan New York. Most of the hockey rinks I frequented catered to the culinary taste of the region: burgers, hot dogs, fries, large pretzels (served with coarse salt and eaten with mustard), and knishes. Introduced to New York by Jewish immigrants at the turn-of-the-century, a knish is a seasoned potato puree inside a golden colored crust.  Like Caribbean patties, and Latin American empanadas, knishes are a great carryout food. Today I have a very eclectic palate much of it shaped during my hockey playing days and time spent living in different parts of Latin America. 

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FrederickDouglassOpie?ref=hl and Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/DrFredDOpie

Jamaican Food History and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Jamaica


Empanada History with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=empanada


Fred Opie's New Books
     Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black-Latino Coalitions in New York City from Protest to Public Office: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/upsetting-the-apple-cart/9780231149402
     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Crust Food Series, Jamaican Patties

The classic Jamaican Patty 
One day when I was in high school hunting down something to eat after a haircut. I went into this Jamaican bodega and smelt something delectable. I quickly learned to identify the smell of freshly baked Jamaican patties—chicken, beef, vegetable, and in some take out joints even more varieties. If you’ve never had a patty I can only say you poor deprived person. Patties are spicy meat or vegetable filled delights with in both a crispy and flaky golden crust.  The store in Ossining sold them piping hot—in fact many such stores have a warning sign posted near the class display that reads, “Caution hot patties fresh out the oven.” What's your favorite mom and pop store food memory?

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FrederickDouglassOpie?ref=hl and Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/DrFredDOpie

Jamaican Food History and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Jamaica

Ossining Food History and Recipeshttp://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Ossining

Fred Opie's New Books
     Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black-Latino Coalitions in New York City from Protest to Public Office: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/upsetting-the-apple-cart/9780231149402

     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Crust Food Series, Empanadas

When I became old enough to swing a mob, vacuum, and operate a floor buffing machine, I joined the family business. I spent lots of early weekend mornings cleaning offices like Frank’s Fuel in North Tarrytown, New York. Frank’s had been located on the side of the town where migrants and immigrants from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic lived. After completing my work, my dad gave breakfast money to keep me from complaining about getting pulled out of bed to work before 7 am.  One day, I found a corner bodega up the street from Franks and near the entrance to the GM plant. The bodega had would looked like to me at the time Jamaican patties but smaller. These had delicious fruit fillings such as pineapple, apple, and my favorite, Guava. I learned the were called empanadas.  I’d buy a couple of empanadas, a bag of sweet plantain chips, and a carton of orange juice. With that in my stomach, I’d make it through the second half of cleaning Frank’s Fuel.

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FrederickDouglassOpie?ref=hl and Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/DrFredDOpie

Tarrytown Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Tarrytown


Empanada Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=empanada+

Fred Opie's New Books
     Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black-Latino Coalitions in New York City from Protest to Public Office: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/upsetting-the-apple-cart/9780231149402

     Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Guava Empanada Recipe: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=656455

NYC Bodegas As A Urban Food Space/Culture: [Listen Now 57 min 34 sec] https://soundcloud.com/latinousa/1508-a-day-in-the-bodega