Tuesday, January 26, 2010

food of the African-American street vendor

If you live in Ann Arbor and haven't been to one of Chef Alex's tasting dinners at Zingerman's roadhouse, GET yourself to one. The experience is priceless- you learn the history of certain cuisine while simultaneously sampling it. I adore the thoughtful combination of interesting narrative and marvelous eats.

I really enjoyed learning about the history of these dishes, how they originally migrated to the United States, how they've endured through the years, and how they've evolved as our culture has changed. I consider myself a bit of a student type, so to get this extra learning along with the fabulous food is an extra special treat.

Here are a few shots from our wonderful view into the cuisine of African-American street vendors.

loved the deviled crab here

mmm... peanut soup

did you know that in the 1800's eating spicy food was considered vulgar?
i have a similar reaction to spicy food. it leaves me breathless.... in a good way
philadelphia pepper pot = braised pork and beef, not tripe.

It might not all photograph well with this silly cell phone, but trust me. It was delicious.

As always, the collective Zingerman's genius knows how to satisfy as many senses as possible. If you've read this blog before, you know how keen I am on pairing music and food, as others pair wine with food. Part of the goal of the talk given during the dinner by Adrian Miller was to relay the importance of the call and answer songs of the street vendor. These songs obviously drew attention to the food being sold, and were so closely tied to of development of early African-American jazz. In fact if you connect enough dots, these food calls were the root of jazz. Having studied the history of jazz in college, this wasn't news to me, but it was awesome to see it specifically paired with this food.

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So glad you joined us, Kelly. Do you eat like this every night? ;)


Lilies of the Field said...

ohhh. peanut soup.. that's one memory from when i was little. Mom would be proud. i can taste it right now.

like that ---- eating spicy foods was considered vulgar. how funny... t to c baby, t to c.

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