Welcome to Dr. Frederick Douglass Opie's personal website

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Baltimore Foodways in the Late Nineteenth Century

Terrapin chowder, related recipe below


I’m going to do a series of stories on what I learned while doing field work in Baltimore, Maryland the city’s African American foodways and eateries which is my shtick. Baltimore developed black neighborhoods like other North American cities. Many of these neighborhoods have histories that date back to the Reconstruction era. During the Reconstruction period 1863-1877, the various forms of debt peonage in the shipping industry in port cities like Baltimore that replaced slavery hardly improved the diet of former slaves. At the turn of the century the port city of New Orleans for example had large populations of workers who inhabited boarding houses, poor houses, and hobo encampments. As result restaurants that catered to these workers sprung up around the city that had menus that centered around the continuation of the antebellum diet including, the 3m’s—meat (salt pork), meal, and molasses—as well as in the case of the Chesapeake region, terrapins which served as rations which enslaved Africans turned into a delicacy. Here is a related recipe:


Chesapeake Terrapin stew: http://www.reciperascal.com/chesapeake-terrapin-stew/

Arundel Ice Cream Company Part 4: the Sit In Movement

What Happened to that Old Soul Food Restaurant?