A Taste of the Past
Black Smoke, the African American Roots of BBQ
While it's enjoyed throughout the US, barbecue has long been recognized as southern cooking. But the originators of barbecue have not been given their culinary due. The African American culture has been largely ignored as the progenitor of the culture of barbecue as author and soul food scholar Adrian Miller is quick to point out in his new book, Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue (University of North Carolina Press, 2021.) The merits of sauces and styles can be discussed from shore to shore, but that may not be as essential as correcting the narrative itself. As Miller explains it, Barbecue is American food with southern roots from plantation slave pitmasters sharing their flavors and fire.
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