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  • High on the Hog

  • A Culinary Journey from Africa to America 
  • By: Jessica B. Harris
  • Narrated by: Jessica Harris
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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High on the Hog cover art

High on the Hog

By: Jessica B. Harris
Narrated by: Jessica Harris
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Editor reviews

American cuisine has deep African roots. When we discuss American food, the troublesome history attached to these roots is only mentioned in brief. The focus tends to be on the end product, the delicious food that helps to distinguish American culture. In this book author Harris undertakes to trace the food from Africa across the Atlantic to America. She views slavery through the lens of native food. Food is proof of the voyage; it remains with its people, sustaining them as they endure en route to freedom. Along the way the food marries multiple worlds and is reborn in many delicious guises. Harris has a resonant, dignified voice. She relays with authority her profound understanding of how this cuisine evolved and what its survival means.

Summary

Winner of the IACP Award for Culinary History.

Acclaimed cookbook author Jessica B. Harris weaves an utterly engaging history of African American cuisine, taking the listener on a harrowing journey from Africa across the Atlantic to America, and tracking the trials that the people and the food have undergone along the way. From chitlins and ham hocks to fried chicken and vegan soul, Harris celebrates the delicious and restorative foods of the African American experience and details how each came to form an important part of African American culture, history, and identity. Although the story of African cuisine in America begins with slavery, High on the Hog ultimately chronicles a thrilling history of triumph and survival. The work of a masterful storyteller and an acclaimed scholar, Jessica B. Harris's High on the Hog fills an important gap in our culinary history.

©2011 Jessica B. Harris (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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What listeners say about High on the Hog

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Awesome book!

So beautiful to learn my history this way. From the inwards lands of the African continent to the outer parts of the world.

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High on the Hog

After watching the Netflix documentary, I was pleasantly surprised to find much more in the book revealing how Africans and their cuisine have influenced the palate of the western world, particularly in the United States.

With their arrival in the Americas, Africans brought some of the foods, cooking, and farming techniques they had known in their homeland. Where there were obstacles to them in the new environment, they adapted.

Like the documentary, I enjoyed the book and could identify several food and dishes I grew up with.
This book shows how a people's history can, in some ways, be charted by following their food.

A great book and recommended reading.

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Absolutely fantastic

Beautifully written, insightfully educational and excellently read. I am compelled to purchase the hardcover.

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Be ready this will make you hungry

This is great balance of history and insight of African American food loved every second.

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Brilliant

This book delivers a new perspective on the highs and lows of economic, social and political equality from slavery to freedom with food as it's central theme. A facinating read brilliantly told.

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  • Scott Johnson
  • 02-09-15

more of a history lesson than a culinary book

lots of interesting information that could lead to more information on the actual dishes and people discussed. it was hard to get through some sections, but I am glad I did. I was looking for more in depth information on the cuisine, technique and ingredients of African inspired cooking; this book serves well as a starting point for that endeavour.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-08-20

A great history lesson

Thank you for assembling this incredible history lesson and a barometer for beginning to understand the origin, role, and continuing food apartheid.
wish the author had put in more effort to pronounce other non English words as she did the French ones.

1 person found this helpful

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  • valerie
  • 07-11-22

Boring

I selected this book because it was a book club selection for one of the clubs I belong to. I did not like it. The reviews I read prior to reading the book were accurate; it is a history book. I was not interested in reading a history book so I really did not like this.
I did learn a few things, nothing significant (in m y opinion). Overall I found it extremely boring.


RECOMMENDATION: IF YOU WANT A HISTORY LESSON – READ IT.

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  • Ramon
  • 18-09-22

The more you know

Loved loved loved. I learned so much about the history of so many foods. Required reading for any foodie

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  • Bill Yost
  • 14-09-22

Just wow…

Watching the a Netflix documentary led me
To buying the book. Unfortunately, with my work schedule, I hadn’t found the time to really sit and read it. I bought the audiobook so I could listen while I work and I’m glad I did. The documentary, while excellent, doesn’t even scratch the surface of what the book covers. The author doesn’t even sound like she’s reading. Rather, she sounds like she’s sitting in front of you telling you this very rich history. I’ll more than likely listen to this again since there’s so much to absorb. I can’t wait for the second season of the show on Netflix.

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  • Laura
  • 05-03-22

educational and enlightening

I learned so much about not only the history of African American food but of African zericans especially the slave trade.

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  • Andromeda
  • 31-01-22

An entire university course in one enjoyable book.

I absolutely loved this book! I saw the series on Netflix and thought the book would contain the recipes, ordered the book and was rewarded with an education. Enjoyable from beginning to end, even when discussing difficult topics, the author's sense of paloma and decorum won out. I highly recommend this book to bayonet tht really desires to understand soul food and the history pertaining to the foods it contains.

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  • Annahita
  • 28-01-22

Highly recommended

loved it and it was hard to stop listening to. I believe I will re listen to this a lot.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-10-21

5 Star Celebration!

We done, well said, and well received. Beautiful Book! As a cClinary Chef, I’ve learned a lot. And I think Jessica Harris for all of the research and information that she provided in this book and myself had after all the Chefs to pave the way and Our Culinary Journey!

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  • Roger McFarland
  • 08-09-21

High on my list!

High on the Hog provides an in depth view of the impact of Africa food over centuries of time up unto today. At the same time it tells the story of the impact of slavery over the same time period. High on the Hog tells the truth about our past and the untold story of the attributes bright to America from Africa.