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Election Day Traditions and Food

Election Day Cake, recipe below
I started talking about the role of food in electoral politics in my series Stumping and Eating with Related Recipes (see the link below) looking at the 2012 Race to the White House.  I want to continue the theme during February which is black history month. I am excited about sharing some fresh new looks into history and food based largely on archival work,  printed primary sources, and interviews I have collected over many years. Treating voters to food and drink in exchange for their vote on election day in this country dates back to our nation’s English political culture. Dating back to the eighteenth century English politicians plied the most eligible voters in their districts with whisky and food. Negro Election Day (election of black Kings and governors) in New England (which happened in May or June) was the best known African American festival during the colonial period. The event included northern blacks dressed in fine apparel, enjoying music, dancing, and selling and consuming of food and beverages. An Election Day event in 1760 Boston included feasting on large amounts of Election Day cake, gingerbread and beer. As in the south, northern blacks slaves endured food deserts from white masters seeking to reduce their expenses. Thus holidays and special occasions like Election Day provided enslaved Africans food in abundance several times a year. Here are recipes and more on the history of Election Day cakes and a link to my series Stumping and Eating with Related Recipes.

Election Day Cake Recipe: http://starchefs.com/chocolate_lovers/2002/html/november/recipe_04.shtml

Series Stumping And Eating And Related Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Electoral+Politics+and+Food

Black History Month: Soul, Double Consciousness, and Don Cornelius

Stumping and Eating: Puerto Rican Cuchifritos