As some of you know I’ve had a great opportunity to advance the cause of Roots Cuisine. I was offered the opportunity to be part of the U.S. State Department Speakers program back in November, which meant that I would be traveling to Turkey to speak (initially) about Louisiana foodways. Interest in topics has expanded to include talks on African American foodways and perhaps a bit about the role of African Americans in United States society. Quite amazing that others are so very interested around the world and the average American, including African Americans themselves take that role and that rich history for granted, often discounting it completely. But quite sadly, that is often the way of the world, non?
I will be visiting Ankara, Adana, Istanbul, Gaziantep, and the highlight will be ?zmir where I’ll eat, cook, and connect with a group of Afro-Turkish villagers. As Sarah Khan, founder of Tasting Cultures Foundation put it such a “. . . rich culture [and] deep history . . .” The Afro-Turks are primarily descendants of enslaved Africans brought to the Ottoman Empire in the late-eighteenth century and most of them are concentrated along the Aegean Sea in the province of ?zmir. It will be wonderful to work and learn and, of course, eat!
I am looking so forward to expanding Roots Cuisine’s palates and networks eastward.
Please visit during the next month to see what were up to.
Herbal medicine stall in Coronation Market -- Kingston, Jamaica