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4 Things to Know about Soul Food



Picture of soul food with Fried Chicken with greens and Mac and cheese

Black people are a food-loving bunch. This is evident in the colorful and tasty nature of the dishes we cook. The unique nature of black dishes has led to the coining of the name “soul food”.

Although the name “soul food” is quite popular, not a lot of individuals know the facts that surround that phrase. Because a black individual cooks a meal, does that automatically qualify the dish as soul food?

In this post, we break down what you should know about black people food/soul food into 4:

4 Must-Knows About Soul Food

1. The Meaning of “Soul Food”

In the modern day, soul food and “African American Cooking”  are used interchangeably as not a lot of people know what the history behind it is. The term actually relates to cuisine which fuses American, Western Europe, and Western African cuisine together. It traditionally represents southern African American cooking.

2. How Did “Soul Cuisine” Become “Black People Food”?

The 1960S was a time were Black identity and cultural expression was prominent. As a result, the belief came about that the name soul cuisine originated during the period.

However, there is a strong belief that the name “soul” was a fall out of black gospel sound in the 1950s. Afterward, it became an adjective applied to most aspects of black people culture such as “soul sister”, “soul music” and then “black cuisine”.

RELATED: 101 Black Owned Restaurants you need to try in all 50 States! 

3. What Is In a Typical Soul Meal?


Most of your average soul food dish  comprises of most of the following:

  • Cobbler
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Collard Greens
  • Mustard
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Chicken
  • Cornbread
  • Potato Pie
  • Red beverage

4. Does Black Cuisine Differ From Southern Food?

Black cuisine and Southern food have a lot in common. The ingredients used and cooking techniques, especially in Thanksgiving dinners, makes it easy to confuse one for the other.

For instance, mac n cheese is a popular dish in the south and also in black food.

Simply looking at both black cuisine and Southern food will not make the difference obvious. A way to distinguish them is through taste.

Soul food packs more punch in terms of sweetness, spice, fat, salt and basically any other thing you think of.

What’s your favorite soul food dish?