Soul Food: A History of Tradition and Black Culture

We see it all the time: people discover Georgia’s Restaurant by word-of-mouth. Our flavorful menu leaves our patrons delighted and interested in our cuisine. That's the effect of soul food! But if you don’t know what is “soul food”, you’re not alone. First, you need to understand that food is more than a necessity: food is survival, it’s culture, and it’s a personal choice. What we eat, our cooking techniques, and even how we display our food shows the influence of the place we came from. Each cuisine carries a history, and soul food is part of the history of the Black community.  

Symbol of tradition

Soul food has a deep root in Black history in America. In times of slavery, slaves were provided with food rations, such as fat meat, black eyed peas, cornmeal, and various pork ingredients. With only a few options available, they were forced to invent unique recipes. It was this creative use of ingredients once rejected by the aristocracy that became the foundation of soul food, a cuisine appreciated worldwide.

Since then, cookbooks have been passed down from generation to generation, helping to keep this tradition. When the emancipation finally came, the black people and their cuisine had survived: that’s why soul food is a history of survival, community, and tradition.

Hearts and Souls

The term “soul food” first appeared in the 1960s along with civil rights and Black nationalist movements that fought for the preservation of Black identity and culture. Expressions such as "soul brother", "soul sister", and "soul music" began to spread, and it didn’t take too long for the same to extend to the food. Popular soul food dishes include candied yams, pan-fried chicken, banana pudding, sweet potatoes, and pigs' feets.

Gretchen Shoemaker, the owner of Georgia’s Restaurant, has her own way of describing soul food: “it’s the food you get when you cook with your whole heart and soul”, she says. Gretchen learned how to cook with her grandma. Now, she’s preparing these mouthwatering dishes for our customers and passing the knowledge along to her daughters.

One of Georgia’s specialties is our Blackened Chicken Pasta, which is a grilled blackened chicken with white creole sauce, bell peppers, and linguini noodles. If you still have room for more, you should definitely try Gretchen's Jambalaya, a mix of shrimp, andouille sausage, and chicken over pasta or rice.

Georgia’s Restaurant is steeped in the tradition of soul food. Come for a casual dining, enjoy our family-friendly environment, and taste our dedication in every single bite! If you have questions, check out our menu online or give us a call: (714) 906-1900.