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Collards and Creolization

Collards and Creolization

Woman with collard greens, Tallahassee, Florida, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Woman with collard greens, Tallahassee, Florida, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Africans in the colonial south did not develop their religious foodways traditions within a vacuum instead creolization occurred naturally. This is the process that happens when two or more cultures come to together and a new culture develops with elements of the original parts. Take for example  collard greens; the plant comes from England but its preparation in the colonial south was distinctively African. Historically Europeans in general did no eat lots of greens nor seasoned the cooked vegetables they ate with hot peppers, onions, and garlic. These plants used as seasoning came to the Americas from Asia via Africa. But today, any native born southerner, white or black, is a green eating corn bread pot liquor sopping person, particularly at an Easter Sunday meal! If you are a northerner without southern roots, that last sentenced probably has you puzzled. 

Collard Greens Recipe

 Serves 6

Ingredients

2 bunches of fresh collard greens 

1/2 cup minced onions

1 small hot chili pepper

2 cups hammocks or smoked turkey parts 

Directions

Clean and cut up greens then cook with ham hocks or smoked turkey parts, adding plenty of onion, and hot pepper in large covered pot slow until tender. Cooking the greens in a crock pot is ideal. Add enough water to cover half the pot of greens.  

Chicago Daily Defender, February 22, 1968

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