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Soul food is an American cuisine consisting of a selection of foods traditional in the cuisine of African Americans. It is closely related to the cuisine of the Southern United States. The descriptive terminology may have originated in the mid-1960s, when soul was a common definer used to describe black culture (for example, soul music). The term soul food became popular in the 1960s. The origins of soul food, however, are much older and can be traced back to Africa. Foods such as rice, sorghum (known by Europeans as "guinea corn"), and okra — all common elements in West African cuisine — were introduced to the Americas as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and became dietary staples among enslaved Africans. They also comprise an important part of American southern cooking. Many culinary historians believe that in the beginning of the 14th century, around the time of early African exploration, European explorers brought their own food supplies and introduced them into the African diet. Foods such as corn and cassava from the Americas, turnips from Morocco and cabbage from Portugal would play an important part in the history of African American cuisine.
When the European slave trade began in the early 1400s, the diet of newly enslaved Africans changed on the long journeys from their homeland. It was during this time that some of the indigenous crops of Africa began showing up in the Americas.
Enslavers fed their captives as cheaply as possible, often with throwaway foods from the plantation, forcing slaves to make do with the ingredients at hand. In slave households, vegetables were the tops of turnips and beets and dandelions. Soon, slaves were cooking with new types of greens: collards, kale, cress, mustard, and pokeweed. They also developed recipes which used lard; cornmeal; and offal, discarded cuts of meat such as pigs' feet, oxtail, ham hocks, chitterlings (pig small intestines), pig ears, hog jowls, tripe and skin. Cooks added onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf to enhance the flavors. Some slaves supplemented their meager diets by maintaining small plots made available to them to grow their own vegetables, and many engaged in subsistence fishing and hunting, which yielded wild game for the table. Foods such as raccoon, squirrel, opossum, turtle, and rabbit were, until the 1950s, very common fare among the still predominantly rural and southern African American population. Soul food is traditionally high in fat and energy rich, qualities once necessary for sustaining the grueling life of a slave.
An important aspect of the preparation of soul food was the reuse of cooking lard. Because many cooks were too poor to throw out shortening that had already been used, they would pour the cooled liquid grease into a container. After cooling completely, the grease resolidified and could be used again the next time the cook required lard.
Frequent consumption of these ingredients without significant exercise or activity may contribute to disproportionately high occurrences of obesity, hypertension, cardiac/circulatory problems, and/or type 2 diabetes, conditions which often result in shortened lifespan. Additionally, trans fat, which is used not only in soul food, but in many baked goods, is a known contributor to cardiovascular disease.
As a result, some African-Americans may use methods of cooking soul food different from those employed by their grandparents, including using more healthful alternatives for frying (liquid vegetable oil or canola oil) and cooking and stewing using smoked turkey instead of pork. Changes in hog farming techniques have also resulted in drastically leaner pork. Some cooks have even adapted recipes to include healthier alternatives to traditional ingredients including tofu and soy-based analogues. Critics have argued that the attempt to make soul food healthier has the undesirable effect of not being as flavorful as the traditional recipes.
Certain staples of a soul food diet have pronounced health benefits. Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, B6, and C, manganese, iron, calcium, folic acid, fiber and small amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. They also contain a number of phytonutrients which are thought to play a role in the prevention of ovarian and breast cancer. Peas, rice, and legumes are excellent, inexpensive sources of protein which also contain important vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene and trace minerals as well, and have come to be classified as an "anti-diabetic" food. Recent animal studies have shown that sweet potatoes can stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance. "Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You)" is a 1998 song from the animated comedy TV series South Park, performed by the character Chef and featured on the soundtrack album Chef Aid: The South Park Album. The song's vocals were performed by Isaac Hayes, the voice actor for Chef.
It reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart and the Irish Singles Chart, while peaking in Australia at #14. The song was written by South Park co-creator Trey Parker and produced by Rick Rubin. The song's first and second verses feature Chef listing the ingredients of the eponymous confectionery "chocolate salty balls", but curiously, there is no mention of salt in the recipe. He also urges people to "suck on them" during the chorus.
During the song's final verse, Chef becomes concerned that his chocolate salty balls have become burned, and urges his lover to blow on them. The verse features a line from the song "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer".
The radio version features an additional verse, in which Chef urges his lover to retire with him to his bedroom before her husband comes home. Description Source Wikipedia