Friday, July 3, 2015

Fish Fries and Politics in Arkansas

Fish Fry, Safety Harbor, Florida, 1909 (Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory)
As part of the ongoing series Fish Fridays and Stumping and Eating, Food Prof Fred Opie discusses the historic role of food in retail politics looking at a Maya Angelou's 1940s 1950s description of a fish fry in Stamps, Arkansas. Opie talks about the document in relationship other research he has done on political campaigns and food in the South.


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

Thursday, July 2, 2015

John the Conquer As A Barbecue Pit Master

Barbecuing meat at a Masonic Event in Kissimmee, Florida, 1886 (Courtesy of State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory)
Barbecue related stories collected and written by anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston’s during her most productive years provide an insider’s view into pit preparations, woods, meat preparation, and secrets of respected pit masters on baste and sauce recipes and barbecue during the era of the Great Depression. For example, one of the John the Conquer folktales she recorded describes John turning “the dampers down in old Original Hell and putting some of the Devil's hogs to barbecue over the coals.”  
Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FrederickDouglassOpie?ref=hl and Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/DrFredDOpie

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

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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Will Cut Cane for Barbecue

African American sugarcane workers, 1879, Florida (Courtesy of the Florida Archives, Florida Memory Project)
A story in a 1942 edition of the Atlanta Daily World says that one labor recruiting outfit working for a sugar plantation in Clewiston, Florida used the promise of barbecues and other incentives to contract black laborers in Arkansas and Missouri. The labor recruiters distributed circulars that “promised good steady jobs for 300 Negro men, free transportation to Florida, and $3 a day compensation with meals and lodging furnished.” It contained “pictures of carnivals, barbecues and weekly entertainments for the workers and gave the impression that a cane-cutter’s life was one of comfort and luxury.” Those the circular tempted signed on to oppressive living and working condition, debt peonage, and no barbecue.

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Barbecue, Beer, and Whisky by the Barrel

Inaugural barbecue for Governor of Florida Warren, 1949
Here’s another story in our series stumping and eating: the role of food in electoral campaigns  A 1932 article in the Pittsburgh Courier reported that Southern “planters and owners of turpentine [camps]” in Florida and other parts of the Jim Crow south, had the practice of forcing their employees, many of them poor African Americans, “to the polls and voted them in gangs” on election days.  The article goes on to say, In some rural and urban electoral districts, employers held “all-night revelries” for their black employees “the night before the election.” They served barbecue,   beer, “and whisky by the barrel”. Then on the next day employers would march the revelers “to the polls by the beat of the drums. They were carefully guarded lest some desert in search of another reward.”

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

Series Stumping And Eating And Related Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Electoral+Politics+and+Food

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



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

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, June 29, 2015

Collective July 4th Barbecues


Collective Beef Barbecue Event in The Midwest Circa 1940s
Traveler John James (1785 –1851) describes a 19th century July 4th country barbecue near Louisville, Kentucky. James writes, “The free, single-hearted Kentuckian, bold, erect, and proud of his Virginian descent, had arranged for the whole neighborhood to celebrate Independence Day with one consent. No personal invitation was required where everyone was welcomed by his neighbor, and from the governor to the guider of the plough all met with light hearts and merry faces . . . . For a whole week or more, many servants and some masters had been engaged in clearing an area. . . . Now the wagons were seen slowly moving along under their load of provisions, which had been prepared for the common benefit.” James goes on to describe the food and beverage that members of this rural community contributed toward this collective July 4th barbecue. “Each denizen [citizen] had freely given his ox, his ham, his venison, his turkeys, and other fowls. Here were to be seen flagons [jugs] of every beverage used in the country . . . the melons of all sorts, peaches, plums, and pears, would have sufficed to stock a market.” Fresh colorful sweet fruit, that’s one of the things I craved the most in grad school during summer months.  Try grilling some fresh fruit this year in addition to the traditional items on your barbecue menu.

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

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

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

Southern Sweet Tea and Lemonade Recipes: http://www.soulfoodandsoutherncooking.com/southern-beverage.html


The Regional Barbecue Sauce Variatons: http://www.bbq-sauces.com/

Friday, June 26, 2015

Cacao in Chocolate, A History

Sorting Cacao Beans on a plantation, Trinidad, Circa 1910 (Courtest of Library of Congress)
Today is national chocolate pudding day here in North America. However cacao is indigenous to Mesoamerica. The Olmec had been the first group to cultivate cacao about 1500 BCE in the lowlands of south-central Mexico. Restricted to elites, they exacted cacao as tribute from commoners and used it largely on special occasions such as religious ceremonies and marriage feasts.  In general, among first nation peoples, cacao had been a medium of exchange where individual cacao beans served as currency used in food markets and to pay workers. It also served as cooking ingredient and aid to worship used in alcoholic beverages.

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

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

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

Mott Green, Grenada Maverick Chocolate Maker: [Listen Now 29 min] http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/foodprog/foodprog_20130616-1300a.mp3

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Gloree-Fried" Catfish

New Orleans fried catfish, hush puppies, and Creole tartar sauce recipes below
Today is national catfish day. Gospel recording artist Mahalia Jackson was born in 1911 in the same section of New Orleans as Louie Armstrong, the Uptown section know to locals as Back of Town. Like Satchmo Jackson migrated to Chicago—he in 1918 and she in 1927—where they launched their music careers; she was sixteen. By the 1950s Jackson became a household name and toured internationally. She used some of the the capital she earned to launch a fried chicken chain in 1968 called, Mahalia Jackson’s Gloree-Fried Chicken. The restaurant menu included chicken giblets, gravy, and rice, fried chicken, sweet potato pie, biscuits,  and catfish. It's mantra,"It’s Gloree-Fried, and that’s the gospel truth,” could been seen on the two franchises in Chicago and in other cities included Memphis, Cleveland, Jacksonville, and Detroit. Jackson received royalties for the use of her name on the business that proved short lived.

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

New Orleans Fried Catfish, Hush Puppies, and Creole Tartar Sauce Recipes: http://www.nolacuisine.com/2006/08/01/fried-catfish-recipe/

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Food, Art, and Images, Weddings


Curry Chicken Rundown, recipes below (food photo http://gotnomilk.wordpress.com/)caption

Those who lived and worked in the Caribbean did so as a black majority with greater opportunities to continue African traditions and foodways. Most slaves conducted their weddings and receptions in and around their slave quarters with and without the consent of their masters. In Cuba Spanish laws recognized slave marriages and enslaved Africans held weddings followed by receptions full of good music and food. A travel account from 1790 informs us that the cooks for a black ball in the British Caribbean prepared “a number of pots, some of which are good and savory; chiefly their swine, poultry, salt beef, pork, herrings, and vegetables with roasted, barbecued, and fricasseed” meats. 


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

Cuban Foodways and Recipes: 
http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Cuba

Rice and Beans and Peas and Rice Stories: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=rice+and+beans

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

Curry Chicken Rundown Recipe: http://gotnomilk.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/curry-chicken-rundown/

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Prose and Politics of Langston Hughes

Lobster Thermidor, recipe in related links below (photo from http://www.memoirsofachocoholic.com/)

I came across the poem "Dinner Guest: Me" by the Harlem Renaissance (and beyond) author Langston Hughes. Born in 1902 in Joplin Missouri, Hughes grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, and several other Midwestern communities, at the turn of the century before making his way to Harlem where he lived until his death and in 1967. This poem is about race relations in Manhattan and the city’s black intellectual communities some of which struggled with black pride and the promises of white liberal politicians and their constant delays in improving conditions for black folk in North America. Tomorrow I will be doing a video post on Langston Hughes through the Lens of Food. Also see the related links below. 


Dinner Guest: Me
I know I am
The Negro Problem
Being wined and dined,
Answering the usual questions
That come to white mind
Which seeks demurely
To Probe in polite way
The why and wherewithal
Of darkness U.S.A.--
Wondering how things got this way
In current democratic night,
Murmuring gently
Over fraises du bois,
"I'm so ashamed of being white."

The lobster is delicious,
The wine divine,
And center of attention
At the damask table, mine.
To be a Problem on
Park Avenue at eight
Is not so bad.
Solutions to the Problem,
Of course, wait.

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

Lobster Thermidor Recipe: http://www.cuisine-france.com/recipes/lobster_thermidor.htm


Langston Hughes Biographer Arnold Rampersad: [Listen 36 min 12 sec]  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5126003

Monday, June 22, 2015

Stumping and Eating in Ohio

Kewpee's in Ohio (photo from flicker)
Kewpee's Burger in the Buckeye state is an iconic eatery started in the state of Ohio before going national.  In the 1920s Kewpee built its business on square burgers, malts, fries, and fabulous pie. Kewpee's is another important stop on Ohio’s stumping and eating circuit. The second oldest chain restaurant in North America, today it's a small fraction (four restaurants) of what had been 400 locations across the country. Over the years the restaurant has attracted numerous politicians seeking to gain the vote of the working class clientele in largely democratic leaning and industrial Lima, Ohio. Its owner Harrison E. Shutt, has remained bipartisan over the years, insisting, “we don't take sides,” as a result, politicians of both parties have stumped at his eateries since before the Great Depression.

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

Series Stumping And Eating And Related Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Electoral+Politics+and+Food

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

 Kewpee Oral Histories: http://www.kewpee.com/guestbook.php

History of Kewpee’s and Wendy’s: http://www.kewpee.com/davethomas.php