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The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South Hardcover – 1 Aug 2017

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Amistad Press (1 Aug. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062379291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062379290
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Slavery made the world of our Ancestors incredibly remote to us. Thankfully, the work of Michael W. Twitty helps restore our awareness of their struggles and successes bite by bite, giving us a true taste of the past."--Henry Louis Gates

"Written in Michael Twitty's no-nonsense style and interlaced with moments of levity, The Cooking Gene is gritty, compelling and enlightening--a mix of personal narrative and the history of race, politics, economics and enslavement that will broaden notions of African American culinary identity."--Toni Tipton-Martin, James Beard Award winning author of The Jemima Code

"The Cooking Gene is a revelation. Michael Twitty approaches his ancestral and culinary history from Africa to America, and occasionally back to Europe, with the precision of a surgeon and the passion of an artist. His adept storytelling carried me away to another time and I am deeply moved by the experience. "--Carla Hall

"Michael Twitty shines a stunningly bright light on the state of Southern food with this quest to find himself. He is a clarion, focusing our minds on what this state of sustenance really means, where it comes from and the impacts it has had and still has. The Cooking Gene is a much-needed addition to the culinary perspective of American food."--Hugh Acheson, chef and author of A New Turn in the South

"Slavery made the world of our ancestors incredibly remote to us. Thankfully, the work of Michael W. Twitty helps restore our awareness of their struggles and successes bite by bite, giving us a true taste of the past."--Dr. Henry Louis Gates, host of PBS' Many Rivers to Cross and Finding Your Roots

"Michael W. Twitty's culinary and linguistic gifts are beautifully intertwined in The Cooking Gene, but it's Twitty's agency here - the way his journey through the South's cultural history tackles race, gender, faith, morality, and sexual orientation in a way earlier historians ignored - that makes this volume essential reading for all Americans. Twitty leaves no stone unturned - and no ingredient uncooked! - in his riveting quest to chronicle the African-American roots of Southern cooking."--Matt Lee and Ted Lee, authors of The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen

"The Cooking Gene is a revelation. Michael W. Twitty approaches his ancestral and culinary history from Africa to America, and occasionally back to Europe, with the precision of a surgeon and the passion of an artist. His adept storytelling carried me away to another time and I am deeply moved by the experience."--Carla Hall, co-host of The Chew, author of Cooking with Love and Carla's Comfort Foods

"Michael W. Twitty shines a stunningly bright light on the state of Southern food with this quest to find himself. He is a clarion, focusing our minds on what this state of sustenance really means, where it comes from and the impacts it has had and still has. The Cooking Gene is a much-needed addition to the culinary perspective of American food."--Hugh Acheson, chef and author of A New Turn in the South

"Written in Michael W. Twitty's no-nonsense style and interlaced with moments of levity, The Cooking Gene is gritty, compelling, and enlightening - a mix of personal narrative and the history of race, politics, economics and enslavement that will broaden notions of African-American culinary identity."--Toni Tipton-Martin, James Beard Award-winning author of The Jemima Code

"Fascinating... A valuable addition to culinary and Old South historiography with lip-smacking period recipes."--Library Journal (starred review)

From the Back Cover

Culinary historian Michael W. Twitty brings a fresh perspective to our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry--both black and white--through food, from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom.

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who "owns" it is one of the most provocative touchpoints in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.

Twitty travels from the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields to tell of the struggles his family faced and how food enabled his ancestors' survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and visits Civil War battlefields in Virginia, synagogues in Alabama, and black-owned organic farms in Georgia.

As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the South's past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep--the power of food to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.

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on 29 September 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 21 October 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews
42 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsPull up to the table for a heart to heart about food and race.
on 2 August 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
26 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsHe Honored Our Ancestors With His Book!
on 3 August 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 starsDigging deep into a history we thought we knew
on 11 December 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
24 people found this helpful.
4.0 out of 5 starsFascinating book, although I wish there were more photos & recipes
on 6 August 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 starsThink you know Southern food? Read up.
on 15 December 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase

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