(BLACK PR WIRE) -- The term “soul food” originated and became very popular in the 1960s, when the word “soul” became used in connection with most things associated with African Americans.
Today, it has now become a tradition in African American families to gather together to partake of a special soul food feast on Sundays. Families look forward to reuniting to enjoy food, fellowship and fun; and to give thanks for their many blessings throughout the year. Tables are topped and decorated with delicious items that are guaranteed to help one savor the flavor: fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, yams, the works!
Not only are tables in homes decorated with soul food delicacies, but tables in restaurants as well. Although soul food originated in the South, soul food restaurants – from fried chicken and fish shacks to upscale dining establishments – exist in virtually every African American community in the U.S. In fact, it is in cities with large African American populations such as Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Detroit, New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, D.C., where soul food restaurants flourish.
Many African Americans today, unlike some of our grandparents, are using more healthful alternatives for frying (liquid vegetable oil or canola oil) and cooking and stewing using smoked turkey instead of pork.
There’s even more good news. Research shows that certain staples of a soul food diet have pronounced health benefits. According to Wikipedia, collard greens are known to be an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B6 and C; manganese; iron; omega 3 fatty acids; calcium; folic acid; and fiber. They also contain a number of phytonutrients which play a role in the prevention of ovarian and breast cancer. Peas, rice and legumes are excellent and cheap sources of protein, with important vitamins, minerals and fiber. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene and trace minerals, as well, and have come to be classified as an “anti-diabetic” food. With good news like this, the popularity of soul food is guaranteed to increase, especially as people realize that some of it is actually good for the soul!