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Asian Foodways Series: Part 6 Asian Migration to the United States

Chinese spare ribs, recipe below
People often ask me why are there so many of the old soul food joints going out of business and where can you get good soul food today? In doing research for my book Hog and Hominy, I found that in many instances fast food restaurants have co opted soul food dishes selling them cheaper than traditional mom and pop restaurants. In addition, the operators of those successful mom and pop soul food restaurants were originally migrants from the rural to urban south or urban north. Many of these pioneering entrepreneurs were folks without college degrees who started restaurants around the country and built reputations as great down home eateries with a "just like mom's taste associated with their dishes." Asian migrants have come to the U. S. over the last twenty years and similarly started restaurants, many of them Chinese restaurants in African American communities with soul food items on their menus. So in short, some of the best soul food today can be found in Chinese restaurants in black communities (and at black family reunions, funerals, and special events days at black churches). Here are two links with recipes that work well with this story:

Asian Foodways Series: Part 7 Asian Restaurants in black communities

Asian Foodways Series: Part 5 Plantains