How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped
Invent American Cuisine.
In grocery store aisles and kitchens across the country, smiling images of “Aunt Jemima” and other historical and fictional black cooks can be found on various food products and in advertising. Although these images are sanitized and romanticized in American popular culture, they represent the untold stories of enslaved men and women who had a significant impact on the nation’s culinary and hospitality traditions even as they were forced to prepare food for their oppressors.
Kelley Fanto Deetz draws upon archaeological evidence, cookbooks, plantation records, and folklore to present a nuanced study of the lives of enslaved plantation cooks from colonial times through emancipation and beyond.
“Kelley Deetz has given us a powerful analysis of the life of those ancestors whose hands stirred the pots in sorrow's kitchen.”
Bound to the Fire not only uncovers their rich and complex stories and illuminates their role in plantation culture, but it celebrates their living legacy with the recipes that they created and passed down to future generations.
In her final chapter, “In Memory: Kitchen Ghosts,” Deetz addresses public memory, public history, and plantation tourism...
WHAT’S COOKING?A HISTORY OF FOOD IN AMERICA#0225 | 11.29.19 | REBROADCAST
Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine explores the lasting contributions of the early slave kitchens...