Sunday, September 22, 2013

The PA Melting Pot - Part 4 African Americans


The largest influx of African-Americans (1910-1930) from Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas increased the black population 115% in the southwestern PA area. They immigrated because they were recruited by northern industries to break white workers' strikes.   They didn't get paid much and were allotted minimal amounts for living.

Even though the Wagner Act in 1935 was passed which gave workers the right to collective bargaining and blacks were allowed to join unions, there was still much discrimination and often they were not eligible for government housing for misplaced families.  They lived frugally as they had in the South.  More immigration occurred from World War II to 1950.

FOOD HISTORY:  From the south they brought the knowledge of wild greens cooked with ham hocks and other slave dishes. What was discarded from the main house by their masters was eaten by their slave ancestors.  This was where the term “soul food” originated.  Castoffs from the main house included:  pigs’ feet, hind-parts, jowls, intestines, cow brains and tongues and others.  The southern slaves cooked the bitter collard, mustard and turnip greens with pork leftovers.  This “make-do” or “soul food” which was the mainstay at that time and its transformation now has become part of white and black households today.

Collard Greens, Shrimp Pilau (bacon, onion, tomato, hot pepper, parsley, rice, shrimp stock, shrimp), Cornbread, Cracklin’ Corn Bread (cracklins are pork rinds), Sweet Potato Casserole, African Chicken (chicken breasts, onions, tomatoes, garlic, ketchup, peanut butter, cayenne, hard boiled eggs), Shrimp Creole (green pepper, garlic, butter, tomatoes, lemon juice, Tabasco, shrimp, rice), Sweet Potato Pone (sweet potato bread) and Old Fashioned Hoecake (corn meal, flour, bacon fat, etc.  – NOTE: This was called Hoecake because out in the fields often they didn’t have cooking pots so they baked the bread on a hot hoe over a fire!!)

Scalloped Pineapple (sugar, butter, eggs, white bread, milk, crushed pineapple baked in casserole & topped with whipped cream or as side dish to meats), Sweet Potato Pie (I think everyone knows what this is), Southern Ham & Brown Beans, Fried Okra, Okra-Corn-Tomatoes, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Black-eyed Peas and Gumbo, Sausage Biscuits and Gravy, Grits in various ways, Hoppin’ John (a thick, hearty stew of black-eyed peas, ham, and rice served on New Year’s Day for good luck), Pinto Beans with pork, Chow-Chow (not really from the South although they claim it – from the PA Dutch who immigrated to the south), Black eyed-peas, Hush puppies, Corn pone and the list goes on.












LINK TO All Recipes - Soul Food



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Pa Melting Pot - Part 2 - Great Britain - Part 1 - Irish

These immigrants came to western PA in two waves because of religious persecution, the potato famine …

Please see photos about Ireland at bottom of blog. 

There are three links before the photos near bottom of page that may interest you:  

  • Sunny Anderson does Irish on Foodnetwork
  • Irish Food Timeline
  • Irish Festivals

Irish Catholics

  • 1800’s and on
  • By 1850 10,000 in Pittsburgh
  • Settled in Pittsburgh and southwestern PA
  • From Ulster in Northern Ireland
  • Others came from Leinster, Munster and Connaught
  • Area’s first most significant Catholic influx
  • Tradesmen
  • The Protestant hold on Pittsburgh created an anti-Catholic sentiment
  • Late 19th century emerged as a force of their own
  • 17 % of the southwestern PA population claim Irish as part of their heritage. 
Popular Irish foods:  Potato Onion Soup, Irish style; Dublin Coddle (potatoes, pork, ham); Colcannon (potatoes, kale, leeks), etc.  The Irish also used recipes with cabbage: boiled cabbage with smoked pork butt, Irish boiled dinner (brisket, cabbage, beer, potatoes).  The Hunters left legacies of lamb & beef dishes such as Irish Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb, Lamb Stew and Steak and Potato Pie. The Fisherman provided Irish smoked Fish & Rice with Saffron (Kedgeree) and Scallop and Mushroom Pie.  The farmers left the legacy of Irish Soda Bread, Oat Bread, Potato recipes, Irish Peas...  Irish desserts:  Donegal Oatmeal Cream, Chocolate Potato Cake, Apple Amber (pastry, apples, meringue). 


Potato Onion Soup, Irish style

Dublin Coddle (potatoes, pork, ham)

Colcannon (potatoes, kale, leeks)

Boiled cabbage with smoked pork butt

Irish boiled dinner (brisket, cabbage, beer, potatoes)

Irish Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb

LINK TO the BBC's Stuffed_shoulder_of_lamb with video

Lamb Stew

LINK TO All recipes Irish Stew

 Steak and Potato Pie (recipe says it is English but it is Irish, too)

Irish Smoked Fish & Rice with Saffron (Kedgeree) 

Scallop and Mushroom Pie

LINK TO Belfasttelegraph recipe for Scallop and Mushroom Pie

Irish Soda Bread

Oat or Oatmeal Bread

LINKS TO Oatmeal Bread below


Irish Peas

LINK TO Irish Peas

Irish Mushy Peas

...  Irish desserts:  

Donegal Oatmeal Cream

Chocolate Potato Cake

Apple Amber (pastry, apples, meringue)

LINK TO European Cuisine's Apple Amber

LINK TO Foodnetwork show - Sunny does Irish

LINK TO GREAT SITE: From Food Timeline on Irish food

LINK TO Irish festivals from Angelfire