The history of soul food dates back as far as one can remember. Indeed, it is a blend of multicultural cuisines that is so diverse it had to be mentioned. But what is soul food? And what is it that makes it so uniquely American and so perfect for preparation over the fire pit?
Where did soul food originate from?
Soul food is hearty food typically associated with the Deep South, more specifically from Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, also known as the Black or Cotton belt of the South. In fact, it is a type of US cuisine (often cooked over a fire pit) that is so steeply rooted in US history that it remains unforgettable to this day. A symbolic remembrance of the road to freedom, soul food was a reminder to African Americans of where they had come from in their journey to new beginnings while still holding onto homegrown memories of the past.
An epic fusion after exciting dishes and flavors
If you have ever been to the South and ordered a plate of soul food, you’ll know that this is no ordinary meal. Actually, it is a fusion of exciting flavors and ingredients from West Africa, Europe, and the Americas that make it a hearty meal worth remembering. Soul food typically consists of fried chicken with a side of greens. Dessert is also important in the South. This is why you’re likely to have a slice of pound cake, peach cobbler, or banana pudding to round off your meal.
Soul food that made over the grill
Sticky grilled chicken is perhaps one of the most popular soul foods you’re likely to encounter in the South. Chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks are usually required for this meal. But of course, it is the sauce that makes it even more soul food-worthy. A sweet and sour barbecue sauce is what coats this delectable dish to make it mouth-wateringly succulent. It is also an ideal menu item for cooking over a fire pit. However, when cooking this chicken over a grill, make sure to grease the grill beforehand to ensure that the crispy skin stays intact, especially if coated in this sticky topping.
Chitlins: a unique southern delicacy
Chitlins or pigs’ intestines is a dish as southern as they come. Though not for everyone, it’s understandable that you might not be overly enthused at the thought of eating this peculiar dish. However, for what it’s worth, it’s still hugely popular in the South. Boiled or fried chitlins have a gamey flavor that is incomparable to other meat. Let’s just say, if you want to experience soul food at its best, try chitlin or chitterling, as some folks call it.
Paired with a side of collard greens
Collard greens are one of the most nutritious vegetables that you can pair your main dish with. Collard greens form part of the cabbage family. They are bitter leaves similar to spinach, but not as bitter as kale. Considered a superfood due to its high levels of vitamins A and C, it’s no wonder that this nutritious side dish is a southern soul food staple. The best way to prepare this superfood is to boil them for roughly 20 minutes. Or fry them quickly in hot oil, taking care to remove the stems and scrub them well beforehand. Overall, it’s a nutritious addition to any barbecue menu. And is well worth trying if you haven’t done so before.
Fried green tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes are, as the name suggests, fried green tomatoes coated in cornmeal and served as a side dish in many southern meals. Often remembered from the movie, ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’, this dish is a southern seasonal favorite. Furthermore, they are so versatile that it can be paired with almost any main dish prepared on the barbecue. And is perhaps what makes it a crunchy and tangy side dish that endures on many a southern dinner table to this day.
Steeped in tradition
Similar to soul food and its origins, the KUDU Grills also has exciting beginnings. In fact, it was inspired by South African braai culture. And how they embrace outdoor living and eating. At KUDU grills, we want to bring this surprise element to your dinner table, too.
So, contact us today to find out how we can transform your outdoor cooking experience today.