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The Remarkable Variety of Caribbean Cornmeal

In Caribbean restaurants across America, patrons have become accustomed to common dishes such as jerk chicken, beef patties, and oxtail. The heat and vibrance of Caribbean food has made a splash stateside, but some of the more home-style, foundational …

In Caribbean restaurants across America, patrons have become accustomed to common dishes such as jerk chicken, beef patties, and oxtail. The heat and vibrance of Caribbean food has made a splash stateside, but some of the more home-style, foundational dishes are still struggling to gain attention in the restaurant space.

Fungi—pronounced “foon-ji,” with no relation to mushrooms—is one of them. A staple Caribbean cornmeal dish flaked with okra and laced with butter can be found throughout the islands, particularly in the West Indies and Virgin Islands. The thickened, earthy porridge-like dish has roots in slavery itself, and is one of many dishes that demonstrates the importance of cornmeal in Caribbean foodways.

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A New Orleans Chef Finds a Place for Fusion in the Black Diaspora’s Cuisine

In a quaint, restored house in the New Orleans Uptown neighborhood, the scent of spices like clove, paprika, cayenne, and garlic wafts through the windows. Those walking by can, at once, catch a scent of briny, freshly caught blue crab and the piquant …

In a quaint, restored house in the New Orleans Uptown neighborhood, the scent of spices like clove, paprika, cayenne, and garlic wafts through the windows. Those walking by can, at once, catch a scent of briny, freshly caught blue crab and the piquant smell of scotch bonnet. The confluence of flavors isn’t accidental. It’s the creation of Serigne Mbaye, a young, Senegalese chef bringing his culinary vision to life.

For Mbaye, fusing flavors to create a West African-Creole fusion cuisine is a craft and an opportunity for Black chefs like him to explore the creative lanes they’ve long been kept from venturing. The child of Senegalese immigrants—including Khady Kante, a highly revered Senegalese chef in her own right (she operated Touba Taif, one of NYC’s only Senegalese restaurants, from 1989 to 1991, and ran a restaurant in her home country of Senegal)—Mbaye remembers preparing one pot dishes with his mom. Dishes like domoda—which Mbaye described as a gumbo—or maybe jollof with chicken, fish, or shrimp, and sometimes, a beef stew with peanut butter. The one-pot characteristic of the food in Mbaye’s upbringing would parallel with what he found in an area influenced by enslaved Africans who came from his homeland. Here, Mbaye said, was an opportunity to tell a new story.

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What Kwanzaa Means to Black Americans—Now & Always

When National Museum of African American History and Culture oral history museum specialist Kelly Elaine Navies celebrated Kwanzaa while growing up in the Bay Area, food was always the center of the celebration.

“Having a feast—you’re celebrating the …

When National Museum of African American History and Culture oral history museum specialist Kelly Elaine Navies celebrated Kwanzaa while growing up in the Bay Area, food was always the center of the celebration.

“Having a feast—you're celebrating the culture and the diversity of African culture throughout the world,” said Navies.

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How to Stock an Indonesian Kitchen

The ingredients you need to dive into Indonesian cooking.


The ingredients you need to dive into Indonesian cooking. Read More

Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee Is a Source of Black Joy

Through historical recipes and profiles of Black American chefs, home cooks, cooking school teachers, cookbook authors, and more, Jubilee reconstructs the true narrative of African American culinary history.


Through historical recipes and profiles of Black American chefs, home cooks, cooking school teachers, cookbook authors, and more, Jubilee reconstructs the true narrative of African American culinary history. Read More