Ashley Rose Young, Historian of the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, has long been interested in the foodways of America’s past. And when she’s not hosting live cooking demos to explore that history at the Smithsonian Museum, she is immersed in her study of the alternative foodways and food economies—specifically of New Orleans—which relied heavily on street vendors. This street vending became the domain of the enslaved or newly freed, disenfranchised population. And, like so many street vendors in cities around the world, their sing-song cries heralding the fruits, vegetables and sweets in baskets often carried on their heads, became the street music of late 19th and early 20th century New Orleans. Listen in for a sample of some of the cries.

 

 

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