Stephen Satterfield is standing at the Doorway of No Return in Ouidah, Benin, a area wherever enslaved people have been forced on to boats for a journey to The usa and a daily life of enslavement. Tears nicely up as he contemplates the fate of his ancestors who stood in that quite place 400 many years in the past. Ouidah is a seemingly bizarre position to go to for a tv demonstrate about meals.
But the documentary series is about so much far more than foodstuff.
Satterfield is an African American food items author, producer, media entrepreneur and host of “Superior on the Hog: How African American Delicacies Remodeled The united states,” a Netflix docuseries that chronicles African American record and how African cuisine has remodeled the U.S.
Satterfield talked with WPR’s “BETA” about why the collection was produced.
“I was just fortuitous to be a part of a much larger eyesight of adapting a incredibly critical and renowned textual content into a television series. ‘Superior on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to The united states‘ was originally penned about 10 a long time ago by Dr. Jessica B. Harris, foodstuff scholar and historian,” Satterfield explained. “It can be actually a tale of the origins of African Americans, as informed by food. So, we acquire a journey that begins in Benin, West Africa across the Atlantic to Charleston and so on moving chronologically via the series, as we do as a result of the Black American expertise.”
As the documentary unfolds, we master that so a lot of of the meals we just take for granted as American delicacies originated in Africa and came more than to this place with enslaved men and women. All those foods have been cultivated here in this nation by these individuals. With out their skill and information about how to improve and put together them, they possible would not have grow to be a component of our foods lifestyle.
The 2nd episode highlighted the rice crucible.
“And I think the thing about the rice — in certain Oryza glaberrima, which is derivative of West Africa, the popular Carolina Gold rice that we figured out about — it can be not just that it was a culinary delicacy. It can be that it was an financial boon for the United States,” Satterfield said. “This was the most coveted and the most effectively-recognised rice in the overall earth. And so, in get to acquire a grain and change it into a successful commodity, you really have to have culinary know-how, sure, but you will need agricultural know-how as perfectly.”
The enslaved people today possessed the knowledge to increase that crop, and at the time slavery finished, rice manufacturing plummeted because no one particular else realized how to cultivate the crops.
As the collection moves from Benin throughout the Atlantic, and then from Charleston to Texas, there are stops alongside the way that expose the rich and primarily unidentified history of Black Us citizens through the meals they get ready and the elements they use. The outcome is eye-opening at the neglected background that is unveiled but also the joy and celebration that will come with the comprehension of one’s track record.
“The factors that you see on the display screen as considerably as me convening and breaking bread — that is as genuine as it will get,” Satterfield stated. “We have not seriously observed anything like ‘High on the Hog’ on food stuff tv. I truly was so in awe of the knowledge, not only as someone who got to partake in it, but just as a exceptional giving in the area.
“And I definitely hope that it is indicative of the way we are heading due to the fact I imagine there is a ton of richness and context and nuance that we are equipped to garner when the host has a variety of cultural link to a spot. But obtaining a Black creation crew and acquiring a Black host and obtaining the materials truly transfer by way of anyone who has lived the Black American expertise helps make for an reliable and emotionally powerful moments.”
The next season of “Significant on the Hog” is now in the scheduling stages. Satterfield mentioned that the narrative will even now comply with the textual content of the guide and carry on the story of African American record and food items throughout the U.S.