Food is a significant part of practically all cultures. New Netflix show High on the Hog aims to delve into the history and significance African food has on America.
Based on the book by food historian Jessica B. Harris, the docuseries takes follows journalist Stephen Satterfield as he traces the origins of African-American cuisine from Africa to Texas.
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The host joins the author of the book as they walk through the Dan-Tokpa Market in Cotonou, Benin Benin, in West Africa, was once a major departure point for the transatlantic slave trade.
They examine foods that are part of the culture in Benin - including some familiar-seeming dishes that share a great deal with recipes we know and love in America.
Critics are full of praise for the series, labeling it "sorely overdue." Osayi Endolyn, writing in The New York Times says it is: "an incredible reframing of history that reintroduces the United States to viewers through the lens of Black people’s food — which is to say, American food".
"The show reveals stories behind the food of the African American table and its relationship to Black history," says Variety.
This series attempts to open our eyes though and spotlight Black Americans and a food culture which has often been pushed aside in discussions of what makes up American food. With Stephen as our guide, we end up discovering how dishes like mac 'n cheese found their way into our kitchens and our culinary culture. Food plays such an integral role in our everyday lives, it both nourishes us and brings us together.
If you watch High On The Hog, you can see how the history of our nation is written on our plates.
Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.
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