Similarities run deep between Brazilian food and American soul food, from the elemental ingredients to the history that bred each cuisine. A comparison of two prominent dishes—feijoada in Brazil and Hoppin' John in the U.S.—reveals how African-derived and -produced foods have been used to construct regional, ethnic, and national identities within these two societies of the Americas. Both dishes combine legumes with smoked and salted pork; both dishes trace their origins to enslaved populations following forced migration from Africa and remain inextricably linked to the people who cooked and served them. The rituals and mythology behind these revered dishes reflect the uncertainty of "melting pot" narratives, which obscure the legacies of the people and places of their origin while revealing other truths about national and ethnic identity. As dishes of the diaspora, feijoada and Hoppin' John urge a second look at claims about national or regional foods, and reflection upon what is erased and who is silenced in the creation of "our" food.


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pp. 158-175
Launched on MUSE
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