DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Feb 6 2013

African food heritage

by Dea Anne M

We all know that February is Black History Month but did you know that during February we also celebrate African Heritage and Health Week? According to Oldways, the nonprofit food and education organization, February 1st – 7th is a time for celebrating African heritage by eating meals inspired by the traditional cooking of Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and the African American South. Numerous studies have shown that traditional diets that emphasize vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans help to promote good health. I urge you to visit this very interesting website and learn more about the traditional food of Africa. You’ll find the African Heritage Diet Pyramid, information about African Diaspora cultures, tips on grocery shopping and setting up your kitchen, and my favorite feature “African Heritage Dine-Around-Town.” This is a list (with links) of restaurants in every state that serve African cuisine. Though it is by no means comprehensive (for example, no Ethiopian restaurants make the list for Georgia) it’s still a fun tool for those who want to dine out on African foods.

cuisineAre you interested in exploring African foods in your own kitchen? Check out these resources from DCPL.

Marcus Samuelsson is a world famous chef who was born to Ethiopian parents and adopted by a Swedish couple after the death of his mother. Raised in Sweden, he trained and apprenticed in Europe before coming to New York where he became the youngest chef to receive a three star review from the New York Times. His newest restaurant is Red Rooster in Harlem and his cookbook The Soul of a New Cuisine: a discovery of the foods and flavors of Africa (with Heidi Sacko Walters) was selected as the “Best International Cookbook” by the James Beard Foundation in 2006.

africaAlso take note of:

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy M February 6, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Mmmm, Ethopian food is my favorite but I have never thought to give it a try in my own kitchen. Not sure I’m that venturesome (although I waited tables at an Ethiopian restaurant in college and I didn’t think the food seemed too difficult to prepare) but I will have to check out the cookbook nonetheless. And thanks for the link to the African restaurants; would love to try some other African cuisines.

Stephanie Kelley February 11, 2013 at 5:52 PM

I would like to receive information regarding location of a place that will be serving African food for black history month a place located in Lithonia,Covington,or Decatur,Conyers Georgia

Leigh P. February 13, 2013 at 10:53 PM

For those unfamiliar with Ethiopian food, I strongly urge you to try Desta. Eating there inspired me to explore African cuisine and now a North African soup is a staple in our home. So easy to make, such simple ingredients, and yet such surprising flavor.

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