This week on Food Without Borders, Leah speaks with culinary historian, Michael W. Twitty, whose acclaimed new book, The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, traces the history of Southern cuisine, family ancestry, and African-American identity in the U.S. Leah and Michael talk about the discomfort entrenched in Southern cuisine and the cultural amnesia surrounding slavery (from rice paddies to plantation kitchens) that had previously blurred the contributions enslaved Africans made to American food culture. Michael’s work peels back the layers of history, in an effort to reclaim the lost memories of his ancestors and transform our national consciousness at the intersection of race and food.

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