SOUL FOOD The staple diet of most black slaves in the antebellum South generally consisted of leftovers and remnants of plants and animals considered unsuitable for white folk. While the white master and his family enjoyed turnips and ham, for example, the slave ate the turnip greens, chitterlings (made from the pig's small intestines) and snout (made from the hard end of the pig's nose).
When the slavery regime ended, African-American dietary tastes did not. Blacks continued to eat greens, chitterlings, snout and pigsfeet. Today, such fare is popularly called "Soul food." Additional examples of "Soul food" would include red ribs, fried chicken, chicken feet stew, candied yams, catfish, collard greens and ham hocks, corn bread, hush puppies, hoe cake and sweet potato pie. As a general rule, "Soul food" is heavily seasoned (e. g., onions in the collard greens, bayleaf on the hamhock, etc.) to provide taste and body to relatively bland foodstuff. See also: SOUL.