African American Heritage Festivals Food Ideas

By Pheori Wiley, eHow Contributor

Food is an important aspect of the African American people’s history and culture, and an African American Heritage Festival would not be complete without it. The annual African American Heritage Festival celebrates the heritage, culture, art and history of the African American people. The festival features live entertainment, arts and crafts and a smorgasbord of African American food, also known as “soul food.” Soul food is typically made from meat, vegetables, beans and potatoes.

Collard Greens with Meat

  • Collard greens are not really a traditional African food, but they have become common in African American dishes. For this recipe, you need two to three bunches of clean, washed collard greens leaves, combined with meat, like smoked ham, pork or beef or a combination of the three meats. Boil the meat, and halfway before the meat is done, add the collard green leaves. Use salt and pepper to taste. The dish should be done in 50 to 60 minutes.

  • Barbecued Beef Short Ribs

  • Barbecued meat is a popular dish among African Americans, and it’s typically the main dish served for any occasion. For this recipe, you need four pounds of short ribs beef, salt, ground pepper, soy sauce, cider vinegar, barbecue sauce and water. Use the salt and pepper as seasoning for the short ribs before marinating them in cider vinegar and soy sauce. After marinating, put the short ribs in a roasting pan, and pour in two quarts of water before putting the pan in the oven, preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for about 1½ hours until the meat is tender. Remove excess water or juices, then baste the meat in barbecue sauce, and bake for another 30 minutes until it is brown. This dish is best served hot from the oven with extra barbecue sauce.
  • Sweet Potato Pie

  • The African slaves brought sweet potatoes to the United states in the 1600s, and these potatoes have been an important part of the African American diet ever since. Because of that, sweet potato pie would be an excellent food to serve during the African American Heritage Festival. To make one, you would need an unbaked nine-inch pie shell, three medium-size sweet potatoes, eggs, milk, butter, sugar, flour, lemon extract and nutmeg. Boil the clean, washed and unpeeled potatoes for 20 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes before peeling. Once cooled and peeled, mash them until smooth. Combine the mashed potatoes with two eggs, ½ cup milk, 1½ sticks butter, 1¼ cups sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 2 tablespoons nutmeg. Mix everything well, add 1½ tablespoons of lemon extract and stir the mixture until smooth. Put the combined ingredients in the nine-inch shell pie, and put in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 30 minutes, and you’re done.
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