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Oral Traditions and Seasoning

Oral Traditions and Seasoning

 Courtesy of the New York Public Library, Circa 1920

Courtesy of the New York Public Library, Circa 1920

Historically the use of seasonings had been learned from oral tradition as one tasted other people’s food and inquired what ingredients and cooking techniques they used. It was during informal “kitchen conversations” that women exchanged family secrets for cooking one dish or another. Some of the secrets were as simple as the use of a seemingly unlikely seasoning or marinade. Various amounts of spices and herbs, particularly salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, bay leaf, sage, and sugar, are partly responsible for the “down-home” flavor associated with American cuisines which in many regions had roots in Native American, African, and European culinary traditions. American seasoning also makes use of several fresh vegetables, including chopped scallions and/or onions and garlic. Apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces are three liquids that are also staples in seasoning southern dishes. US Southern seasoned food puts the accent on pork flavoring in dishes like collards, kale, and turnip greens and the use of pork lard when deep frying. Alternatives to the use of pork flavoring is smoked paprika, smoke flavoring, and vegan pork flavored products. Here are some useful websites:

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