Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Black food? White food?

I've been trying to live a healthier lifestyle, but recently there's been a hankering for soul food in my life. I'm talking the good stuff. Fried chicken, candied yams, collard greens, sweet cornbread, baked mac and cheese...ya know, the works! I want a plate that looks like...
After waking Monday morning, pillow swathed in drool from sweet soulful dreams, I realized that I needed to make this happen. What better way to celebrate the March on Washington?  I told my girl that this Friday would be "Soul Food Friday". What's that? Its a fatty's Christmas. Its like the preseason for Thanksgiving. Its what Miley Cyrus's ass desperately needs. It means we will spend the night in, replicating the materials responsible for my large stature. I love food, and I'm giving into the vice on Friday. I recently took the step to move in with my girl, and one of the reasons I was ok with sacrificing my freedom is that she's an excellent cook. I have to hand it to her. The reason Friday is such an ordeal is because she comes from a different culture. She's white and from north of the mason dixie, therefore things are done just a little bit different on her plate. 

I'm not one to ever turn down food. Period. Unless the person's apparent hygiene is less than pleasant. I'm not eating burgers from bums people. But through my openness to eat what's put in front of me, I have noticed a few differences between how typical "white" food and "black" food is constructed. Am I an authority on food? Yes. Do I often cross cultures? Yes. Am I about to generalize about these differences? Absolutely. So now that I've answered your questions and addressed your issues with the following statements, read a few of my conclusions. I'm not saying these are universal, but its how i feel. You can feel free to criticize, agree or not give a damn.
  • Black food is meant to touch. When that juice from the sweet potatoes intersects at the corner of mac and cheese and cornbread something magical happens. When I see the collision occur, I GET HYPE! I know THAT bite will be off the chain. My cousin Big Norm has mastered this and creates post-meal cups (judge if you want). This dude has mastered the correct order to stack leftovers into a red solo cup that captures the essence of the entire meal. White food should remain separate. Corn on the cob is good as are strawberries and salad with Italian dressing. But when these are all on the same plate, you want them to remain co-workers. Touching is strictly prohibited.
  • Black food is the real reason we get turnt up about family time. We know Gramma is bringing that redskin potato salad, uncle is about to grill them ribs with the Sweet Baby Ray's and auntie is about to put it down on the peach cobbler. We know that there will be more food than you need and all you could want. When a get together is planned, what's the first question amongst black people? "What we eating?" White people are more prone to allow the gathering to be about the achievement or special event. That's great, but that's secondary to food for us. "It's awesome you graduated from college cuzzo, but make sure ya moms whip up that baked ziti, ya dig?"
  •  Black food makes you wanna fight. Let someone show up to a black event later than most (CP time- if you gotta ask, just dont). Let the ribs be gone and they only get a burger or hot dog. Guaranteed they gonna be tight. Why? Because that's the real reason they were excited to come. "Man, your birthday don't mean ish if I didn't get a deviled egg or some of Gramma's pasta salad with the crab meat in it! Bet you wont get this gift card I brought." Even if they are a good sport about it, you know they are salty. When I go to white events, I'm just happy to have some type of nourishment. No one has an urge to fight.
  • Black people don't believe in over-seasoning and rarely do we measure. I forgot real recipes even existed until I started dating my girl. Add 1/2 cup of this and 1/4 of that. A teaspoon of pepper and 2 tablespoons of seasoned salt. Not how we cook. I'm under the philosophy that most people can learn how to cook if they can follow directions. Soul food comes from... the soul. Not a cookbook. I asked my Gramma for a recipe and part of her instruction included, "...just keep adding that seasoned salt. You know how its supposed to taste boy." I can honestly say I've never seen her use a measuring cup. My girl can follow a recipe like no one's business, but my soul needs to be taken into account from time to time.
  • Black people, mainly men, will eat themselves to sadness. Me and my baby brother are notorious for this. One minute we salivating, the next we're grimacing with joy. We are happy as hell when the food is going on our plate and we (well my family at least) will eat until it makes us sad. Pain never felt so good.
  • Fruit doesn't belong on the plate with my dinner.
  • You can look at a black person and know if they can or can not cook.
    You just know she can put it down.
  • Oatmeal tastes best out of that big ass cardboard tube thing, not packets.
  • Rice is not a black thing to eat at Thanksgiving. Period. 
  • Green bean casserole is gross.
  • Everything can't be casseroled. 
  • Drinking milk with pasta at dinner? How does that even make sense? That will tear your stomach up.
  • No one really like chitterlings. I think black people eat them to remain rooted in our culture.
  • Cornbread needs sugar.
  • Texas Pete and Frank should have been disciples in the Bible.
  • Tea is meant to be sweet you bitter jerk.
  • Everyone loves chicken. Everyone loves watermelon. Don't ever take offense! (Ask Chappelle)
  • Mac and cheese is to be baked. No exceptions.
I mean in America, the word black usually means bad and white usually means good. But when it comes to food, I beg to differ. My Black Friday can't come fast enough. I don't think I'll be able to sleep Thursday night. Its. About. To go. Down.


J Swift said...

"Black people, mainly men, will eat themselves to sadness." hahaha oh man. I had my first "pot likker" at Mary Mac's in Atlanta. It's just the leftover juice from cooking collards with a spoon and a biscuit. Sweet baby Jesus.

Also, can we agree Southern food is just the best on the planet?

Big Red said...

CH, I can't stop thinking about the spoonbread from the last Thanksgiving in SAV... I hear Peter Griffin's voice in my head, repeatedly chanting: SPOONBREAD... You need to post that recipe already...

Jonny Casanova said...

Yo Red, I will send it to you dude. No problem. Haha glad you liked it!

Brudda J said...

Southern food is king bruh. There is no competition. We all know this...

Anonymous said...

THIS IS GREAT LOL! I sat here and laughed as I sucked on a rib bone fresh out the oven at 10:30 in the morning (judge not) Have you been to Carolina kitchen yet? You can get some decent soul food there AND if you guys are ever interested, you can always get good soul food at my house lol! Good luck Friday! Are you going to cook and show her how? It's soooo hard to tell someone how to make something because you're exactly recipe, no measuring...just soul, heart, butter, salt, and sugar mmmmm!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE THIS!!! I'm gonna share this with some friends who just don't seem to understand why I would rather spend every single holiday dinner and cookout with the black side of my family. You didn't mention one thing my family does...I don't know if y'all d it too...we admire/critique each other's plates (but you die if you touch!). A truly well made plate should be a masterpiece. It's a you layer the greatness! Fit as much as possible on a Hefty the most advantageous way possible! But everyone knows...Lo don't share! Not even with my 3 year old nephew...he knows he'll get popped if he even looks my way.
Thanks for writing this! It made me wanna go to Momma's house this weekend!
And IS "learnable" I took about 5 years of watching and learning to really feel confident but now all my brothers say I can hold a candle to Momma on most find your girl a good mentor and spend weekends cooking (and the best part...eating!)

Jasmin S Hall said...

That sums it up, especially the part about Rice! lol