Download The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African-American Culinary History in the Old South Audiobook

The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African-American Culinary History in the Old South Audiobook, by Michael W. Twitty Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Michael W. Twitty Narrator: Michael W. Twitty Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2018 ISBN: 9781541488076
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A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who “owns” it is one of the most provocative touchpoints in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes listeners to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.

Twitty travels from the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields to tell of the struggles his family faced and how food enabled his ancestors’ survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and visits Civil War battlefields in Virginia, synagogues in Alabama, and black-owned organic farms in Georgia. As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the South’s past.

Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep—the power of food to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Should there ever be a competition to determine the most interesting man in the world, Michael W. Twitty would have to be considered a serious contender.”

    Washington Post

  • “Twitty ably joins past and present, puzzling out culinary mysteries along the way…An exemplary, inviting exploration and an inspiration for cooks and genealogists alike.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Fascinating.”

    New York Times Book Review

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About the Author

Michael W. Twitty is a noted culinary and cultural historian and the creator of Afroculinaria, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacy. He has been honored by First We Feast as one of twenty greatest food bloggers of all time, hailed one of “Fifty People Changing the South” by Southern Living, and named one of the “Five Cheftavists to Watch” by TakePart. Twitty has appeared throughout the media, including NPR’s The Splendid Table; has given more than 250 talks in the United States and abroad; and his work has appeared in Ebony and the Guardian and online at NPR. He lives in Rockville, Maryland.