Jessica B. Harris
High On The Hog Author and
Jessica B. Harris High On The Hog author and culinary historian is our guest today. Have you thought about how food travels from one place to another with the people who call that place home? As people move from one place to another, they take with them their culture, food, traditions and all the things that make them who they are. Each of those aspects about people moves with them as they arrive in a new place. The food, its preparation, cultural attributions and role in their lifestyles becomes an integration of what comes with the people and what was there before.
During the 1700’s and 1800’s as enslaved Africans were brought over to what would become America, they brought with them the skills and knowledge of foods from their homeland. Some of these foods become the commercial success of area. One such food was rice. But, they did not only bring the skills for growing and harvesting rice, but other food knowledge too.
Culinary historians like my guest Dr. Jessica B. Harris study the food maps and influence of food and people as they move around the world.
Dr. Harris is not only a culinary historian, she taught for 50 years as a professor at Queens College and City University of New York. She was the travel editor for Essence Magazine. And, her knowledge and research of food, culture and people lead her to become the founder of the Institute for the Study of Culinary Cultures at Dillard University. She is the author of several books including cookbooks and her memoir, My Soul Looks Back. She is the author of the book which is now a docuseries on Netflix – High On The Hog; with season two coming up soon.
Dr. Harris spoke during the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation meeting at Wormsloe Library. She shared with the audience some of the history of Carolina Gold Rice and it’s passage to the South Carolina and Georgia Low Country. Afterwards, I spent a weekend with Dr. Harris on Sapelo Island, where we talked and talked and talked our travel, food and how each shapes a people and a place. On this show I share my conversation with her and how African food ways are a larg part of the American cuisine.
Jessica shares her favorite things – Click below to listen.
After lunch on Sunday, Jessica and I sat down to chat about her childhood and life’s work. It’s all covered in what I shared on the radio, you can enjoy that part of our conversation with the link at the top of the page.
As we wrapped up our chat, we talked about her favorite things and shared a few teenage memories. I wanted to share this here because it didn’t make it onto the radio show – time restraints you know. But, I think this part of our conversation shows her very delightful and lovely personality. I truly enjoyed our time together. She is beautiful inside and out.
Thanks for listening to me today.
For more information on purchasing one of Dr. Harris’s book visit her website – africooks.com
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