List of soul foods and dishes

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This is a list of soul foods and dishes. Soul food is a style of cuisine that is associated with African Americans in the Southern United States[1] It uses a variety of ingredients and cooking styles, some of which are indigenous to Africa and were brought over by enslaved Africans, and others that are indigenous to Europe and derive from white American cooking influences as well as to the Americas, borrowed from Native American cuisine.[1][2]

Meat dishes[edit]

Some meat soul foods and dishes include:

Name Image Description
Fatback Fatback.jpg Fatty, cured, salted pork, especially the first layers of the back of the pig primarily used in slow-cooking as a seasoning. Pictured is breaded and fried fatback.
Fried chicken Friedchicken.jpg A dish consisting of chicken pieces usually from broiler chickens that have been floured or battered and then pan-fried, deep fried, or pressure fried. The seasoned breading adds a crisp coating or crust to the exterior. Southern fried chicken derives from Scottish American cuisine.

Chicken and waffles, in particular, is a soul food dish associated with special occasions. Waffles are adapted from European cuisine. [3]

Fried fish [1] Fried Fish and French Fries.jpg Any of several varieties of fish, including catfish, whiting,[4] porgies, bluegill, sometimes battered in seasoned cornmeal. Adapted from method of frying chicken.
Ham hocks [5][6] Ham hock and black-eyed peas (cropped).jpg Typically smoked or boiled, ham hocks generally consist of much skin, tendons and ligaments, and require long cooking through stewing, smoking or braising to be made palatable. The cut of meat can be cooked with greens and other vegetables or in flavorful sauces.
Hog jowl Fried pork jowl.jpg Cured and smoked cheeks of pork. It is not actually a form of bacon, but is associated with the cut due to the streaky nature of the meat and the similar flavor. Hog jowl is a staple of soul food,[7] but is also used outside the United States, for example in the Italian dish guanciale.[8][9]
Hog maw Hog maw (cropped).jpg The stomach lining of a pig; it is very muscular and contains no fat. As a soul food dish, hog maw has often been coupled with chitterlings, which are pig intestines. In the book Plantation Row Slave Cabin Cooking: The Roots of Soul Food hog maw is used in the Hog Maw Salad recipe.[10]
Offal Empal gentong boiled cow intestine.JPG Such as chitterlings or "chitlins" (the cleaned and prepared intestines of pigs, slow cooked and also often eaten with a vinegar-based sauce or sometimes parboiled, then battered and fried). It is adapted from early European cuisine, or hog maws[1] (the muscular lining of the pig's stomach, sliced and often cooked with chitterlings).[1]
Ox tails [1] Raw oxtail-01.jpg The tail of cattle, oxtail is a bony, gelatin-rich meat, which is usually slow-cooked as a stew[11] or braised.
Pickled pigs' feet [5] Pickled pigs feet.JPG Slow cooked, sometimes pickled or often eaten with a vinegar based sauce.
Pigs' feet Tonight's stew thickener - a pig's trotter (as recommended by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall).jpg The feet of pigs: the cuts are used in various dishes around the world, and their usage has increased in popularity since the late-2000s financial crisis.[12]
Pork Roast Pig 1.JPG As a meat dish, such as ham and bacon, and for the flavoring of vegetables and legumes, gravys and sauces.
Pork ribs Smoked country style pork ribs.jpg The ribcage of a domestic pig, meat and bones together, is cut into usable pieces, prepared by smoking, grilling, or baking – usually with a sauce, often barbecue – and then served. The method of barbecuing is of Native American influence.
Poultry Gulai ampela.JPG Giblets, such as chicken liver and gizzards.[5][6] Pictured is a chicken gizzard dish.
Turkey Neck bones

Vegetables and legumes[edit]

Beans, greens and other vegetables are often cooked with ham or pork parts to add flavor.

Name Image Description
Black-eyed peas [5] Mmm... black eyed peas with smoked hocks and corn bread (7046315845) (2).jpg Often mixed into Hoppin' John and other types of rice and beans dishes.[1] Pictured are black-eyed peas with smoked hocks and corn bread.
Collard greens Collard-Greens-Bundle.jpg A staple vegetable of Southern U.S. cuisine, they are often prepared with other similar green leaf vegetables, such as kale, turnip greens, spinach, and mustard greens in "mixed greens".[13] They are generally eaten year-round in the South, often with a pickled pepper vinegar sauce. Typical seasonings when cooking collards can consist of smoked and salted meats (ham hocks, smoked turkey drumsticks, pork neckbones, fatback or other fatty meat), diced onions and seasonings.
Hoppin' John [14] Hoppin-john-bowl.JPG A dish served in the Southern United States consisting of black-eyed peas (or field peas) and rice, with chopped onion and sliced bacon, seasoned with a bit of salt.[15] Some people substitute ham hock, fatback, or country sausage for the conventional bacon; a few use green peppers or vinegar and spices. Smaller than black-eyed peas, field peas are used in the Low Country of South Carolina and Georgia; black-eyed peas are the norm elsewhere.
Mustard greens Mustardgreensraw.jpg A species of mustard plant. Subvarieties include southern giant curled mustard, which resembles a headless cabbage such as kale, but with a distinct horseradish-mustard flavor. It is also known as green mustard cabbage.
Okra [16] Okrajf.JPG A vegetable that is native to West Africa, and is eaten fried or stewed and is a traditional ingredient of gumbo. It is sometimes cooked with tomatoes, corn, onions and hot peppers
Sweet potatoes 5aday sweet potato.jpg Often parboiled, sliced, then adorned with butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla or other spices, and baked; commonly called "candied sweets" or "candied yams"[5]
Turnip greens Stielmus.jpg Turnip leaves are sometimes eaten as "turnip greens", and they resemble mustard greens in flavor. Turnip greens are a common side dish in southeastern US cooking, primarily during late fall and winter. Smaller leaves are preferred; however, any bitter taste of larger leaves can be reduced by pouring off the water from initial boiling and replacing it with fresh water. Varieties specifically grown for the leaves resemble mustard greens more than those grown for the roots, with small or no storage roots.

Breads and grains[edit]

Name Image Description
Cornbread [17] Skillet cornbread (cropped).jpg A quickbread often baked or made in a skillet, commonly made with buttermilk and seasoned with bacon fat; inspired by the great availability of corn in the America. Cornbread is of Native American origin. Traditional southern cornbread is baked in European cake and bread baking style. Pictured is skillet cornbread.
Grits [18] Gritsonly.jpg A cooked coarsely ground cornmeal of Native American origin.
Hoecake [1] Jonnycakes 01.jpg Also known as Johnnycake, a type of cornbread that is thin in texture, and fried in cooking oil in a skillet, whose name is derived from field hands' often cooking it on a shovel or hoe held to an open flame.
Hushpuppies [1] Hushpuppies 5stack.jpg Balls of deep-fried cornmeal, usually with salt and diced onions. Typical hushpuppy ingredients include cornmeal, wheat flour, eggs, salt, baking soda, milk or buttermilk, and water, and may include onion, spring onion (scallion), garlic, whole kernel corn, and peppers.


Name Image Description
Sweet potato pie [1][4] SweetPotatoPie.jpg Parboiled sweet potatoes, then pureed, spiced, and baked in a pie crust, similar in texture to pumpkin pie

See also[edit]


A traditional New Year's Day meal:[citation needed] black-eyed peas, ham hock, and pepper sauce
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Opie, Frederick Douglass (2008). Hog and Hominy. Columbia University Press. p. 133. ISBN 0231146388. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
  2. ^ Ferguson 1993
  3. ^ "Serving up chicken & waffles". Los Angeles Business Journal. September 22, 1997. p. 1.
  4. ^ a b Feeney, Kelly (May 8, 2009). "Soul Food With a Secret". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e Timothy Williams In Changing Harlem, Soul Food Struggles 5, 2008 New York Times
  6. ^ a b Mike Royko FOOD NAGS CAN KILL ANYONE'S APPETITE July 20, 1994 Page: 3 Chicago Tribune
  7. ^ Gillespie, Carmen (2009). Toni Morrison: A Literary Reference to Her Life and Work. Infobase Publishing. p. 343. ISBN 9781438108575. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  8. ^ Fabricant, Florence (September 13, 2011). "Pork Jowl With a Backwoods Whiff". New York Times. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  9. ^ May, Tony (2005-06-01). Italian Cuisine: The New Essential Reference to the Riches of the Italian Table. Macmillan. p. 11. ISBN 9780312302801. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Plantation Row Slave Cabin Cooking: The Roots of Soul Food". Retrieved 2007-10-08.
  11. ^ Blumenthal, Heston (14 November 2003). "The twist in the tail". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  12. ^ Carmichael, Sri (21 October 2009). "Pig's trotters fly off the shelves as customers seek cheap meat cuts". The Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 24 October 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  13. ^ Diana Rattray, Guide (2012-04-10). "Mixed Greens - Recipe for Greens". Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  14. ^ "On New Year's Day, it gets the full Southern treatment, which usually means Hoppin' John – a traditional Soul Food fixin' consisting of F peas cooked with ham hocks and spices, served over rice. In the South, eating field-peas on New Year's is thought to bring prosperity" Celebrate New Year's with Field- peas by Rachel Ellner December 31, 2008 Nashua Telegraph
  15. ^ Hoppin John What's cooking America.Another name for it is Stew Peas
  16. ^ Marcus, Jacqueline B. (2013). Culinary Nutrition: The Science and Practice of Healthy Cooking. Academic Press. Page 547. ISBN 0123918839
  17. ^ St. John, Warren (October 6, 2004). "Greens in Black and White". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  18. ^ Ferguson 1993, pp. 25-26.


Further reading[edit]