Welcome to Dr. Frederick Douglass Opie's personal website

AB, 101 Fast Food Head Shot.2jpg.jpg

Wedding and Food Series: Part 3 Colonial America

Jamaican run down a one pot meal, recipes below 
The survival of wedding traditions and cookery depended on the region of the Americas to which  Europeans and Africans, disembarked, and the Amerindians who inhabited those regions. Those who lived and worked in the Caribbean or the Carolinas did so in largely black majority populations where the African influenced the European more than the European the African. Thus African wedding traditions survived. In Virginia, Africans lived in a more restricted cultural environment than the Caribbean and the Carolinas because they were in the minority, making up only 30 to 40 percent of the population thus European weddings traditions dominated the Chesapeake region of the colonial south. Most indentured servants and enslaved people conducted their weddings and receptions in and around their living quarters with and without the consent of their masters. As the links below illustrate, these early colonial inhabitants across the Americas created creolized traditions with lots of cultural syncretism including unique food and music with African, European, and Amerindian influences. British and later US laws did not recognize slaves marriages but Spanish and Portuguese laws did; but in either case white and black indentured servants and enslaved Africans held weddings followed by and receptions full of good music and food. I imagine the food would have been similar to that served at enslaved held balls. A travel account from 1790 informs us that the cooks for a black ball in the British West Indies prepared “a number of pots, some of which are good and savory; chiefly their swine, poultry, salt beef, pork, herrings, and vegetables with roasted, barbecued, and fricasseed” meats. Here are two perfect West Indian wedding recipes:

Fish ceviche recipe: http://www.easyliving.co.uk/recipes/fish/caribbean-ceviche

Vegan Jamaican run down recipe: http://www.vegan-food.net/recipe/774/Jamaican-Yam-Run-Down-Casserole/

Related link on indentured servants and music: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1794557

Feeding the Revolution in Havana, Cuba Part 2

African American Festivals/Parades and food Part 2: Election Day