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Compositions & Coffee Presents: "Creative Soul Digest"

What’s Brewing with you

Hey hey hey welcome to What’s Brewing With You Tuesday and I’d love to hear what y’all brewed up this morning. Share a picture of your cup in the comments.

In the spirit of all things Black Excellence I want to talk soul food and the shift to alternative ways of cooking it. We will finish by putting you on some black owned beverage companies. So let’s get into it…

Truth About Soul Food

The term soul food refers to food “made with love” and is known for its rich history and traces where our people have been while combining the dishes from various African tribal traditions that were brought to America with western European/ American ingredients and techniques. The dishes can be described as rich, decadent, and wholesome. Soul food alone has a deep connection to Southern cuisine since many dishes were created by Black cooks in the South. Some of the foods we already know are: okra, greens, yams, and cornbread which all celebrate how resourceful the cooks were. Other dishes such as fried chicken, cakes and pies were all added in with the rise of sharecropping when resources were bountiful. Fun fact greens and black-eyed peas were also cooked for superstitious reasons during New Year’s Day as a sign of wealth and good luck for the coming year. During the Great Migration, our people were also influenced by Northern cities where they migrated to. Certain dishes like spaghetti, macaroni, and chili became traditional dishes on the table.

One of the myths about our food is that it lacks nutrition. Most recipes are loaded with vegetables they are just not consumed raw. Many African dishes also contain superfoods containing vitamins and minerals. The narrative that has been sold about our food is constantly fueled by “poor culture”. This poor and unhealthy ideology has created a negative image of our food and shapes the way people see our cuisine. Now I’ll be honest we haven’t always used the best ingredients (lard, butter, grease) but it’s definitely changed over time and will continue to change. New trends have emerged in an effort to lower the rate of diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol amongst are people. We are constantly evolving.

The Change in Black Cuisine

Many chefs around the world are changing how they think of and cook soul food. Some of these changes come in the form of portion control and using healthier ingredient substitutions in their traditional dishes. Ingredients like coconut oil and kale super foods are just a few to name. Some chefs have even gone dairy-free, gluten-free, or vegan when it came to creating some iconic meals. Many think this compromises flavor but let me vouch for this shift because I went full vegatarion for 9 years and dairy-free off and on as well and I love soul food. Here’s some pictures to make your mouth water I’ll include the restaurant info as well:

  • LA

  • Orange County

  • San Diego

  • Palm Springs

  • Colorado

  • Oregon

  • Chicago

  • Chicago

  • Inglewood, CA

For other restaurants where you live check here: Vegan Soul Restaurants in the US

Last, I want to talk to y’all about what you put in your cup whether that’s a soft drink, coffee, or something a little extra here’s some things to know about pop/soda.

Coca Cola vs Pepsi

Fun fact for you did y’all know in the 60s Pepsi hired a “negro markets” department to specifically target black people? While Coca-Cola (which I’m sure y’all know in it’s early conception contained cocaine and caffeine) was marketed to white middle class society. According to the New York Times column from Grace Elizabeth, “ Coke receipe wasn’t the only thing influenced by white supremacy: throughout the 1920s and 30s it studiously ignored the African American market. Promotional material appeared in segregated locations that served both races but rarely in those that catered to African Americans alone (NYT).” Pepsi on the other hand did things differently. “By the late 1940s, black sales representatives worked the Southern Black Belt and Northern black urban areas, black fashion models appeared in Pepsi ads in black publications, and special point-of-purchase displays appeared in stores patronized by African-Americans. The company hired Duke Ellington as a spokesman some employees even circulated racist public statements by Robert W. Woodruff, Coke’s president (NYT). “

It’s easy to look at that and say it was all in the past and since they have done everything to shed their “white vs black” image as to not appear racist. However, in 2000 Coca Cola settled a 156 million dollar settlement due to exploitation of developing countries resouces and massive racial discrimination. So it’s not all under the water and we should stay clear of companies like that. I mean soda holds no health value anyway and is basically full of sugar with some dye and caffeine.

Instead here’s some amazing black owned soft drink companies you should know about that don't damage your health:

Alright beautiful people well that’s it for this weeks edition of What’s Brewing With You. Don’t forget to drop me a pic of you morning cup as well as letting me know what you were sippin on. Check out the recs below and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for Beast Coast Wednesday…

--Be Free

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