We are inviting you to come and join us at THE SPOT, Soul food kitchen a new and exiting place to eat in north west London, you can come and try out some of our complementary food and enjoy the atmosphere and vibe at THE SPOT. Bring a friend, Bring your loveone or come alone! just bring your manners and make sure your belly is empty because we aim to fill THE SPOT and satisfy your taste buds.
Soul Food History
The term soul food became popular in the 1960s, when the word soul became used in connection with African American culture. The origins of soul food, however, are much older and can be traced back to Africa. Foods such as rice, guinea corn, and okra all common elements in West African cuisine were introduced to the Americas as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and became dietary staples among enslaved Africans.
When the European slave trade began in the early 1400s, the diet of newly enslaved Africans changed on the long journeys from their homeland. It was during this time that some of the indigenous crops of Africa began showing up in the Americas.
Slave owners fed their slaves as cheaply as possible, often with throwaway foods from the plantation, forcing slaves to make do with the ingredients at hand. In slave households, vegetables were the tops of turnips and beets and dandelions. They also developed recipes which used lard; cornmeal; and offal, discarded cuts of meat such as pigs’ feet, oxtail, tripe and skin. Cooks added onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf to enhance the flavors. Some slaves supplemented their meager diets by maintaining small plots made available to them to grow their own vegetables, and many engaged in subsistence fishing and hunting, which yielded wild game for the table.
To a far greater degree than anyone realizes, several of the most important food dishes of the Southeastern Native American Indians live on today in the “soul food” eaten by both black and white Southerners. Southerners cook their beans and field peas by boiling them, as did the Indians … like the Indians they cure their meat and smoke it over hickory coals.
Since it was illegal in many states for enslaved Africans to learn to read or write soul food recipes and cooking techniques tended to be passed along orally, until after slavery. The first soul food cookbook is attributed to Abby Fisher, entitled What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking and published in 1881. Good Things to Eat was published in 1911; the author, Rufus Estes, was a former slave who worked for the Pullman railway car service. Many other cookbooks were written by African Americans during that time, but as they were not widely distributed; most are now lost.
At the center of African American food celebrations is the value of sharing and making the most of whatever is there.