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African cuisine influences western culture and cuisine

African crops touches every part of American cuisine

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — This year the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens has assembled a group of speakers who are experts on the influence of African cultures and crops on Carolina cropland.  Here with more is food writer, Adrian Miller. Southern food is one of the earliest fusion cuisines in America; bringing together the foods from West Africa, Western Europe and the Americas. The influence is widespread from African crops like coffee, black-eyed peas and okra to South American crops that benefited from African involvement like sweet potatoes and peanuts. The influence of Africa and its people on our Carolina crops has been underappreciated and even ignored. In fact most people don’t know the rich tradition of African crops and its deep influence. Yet, there are so many people now interested in knowing the backstory of where there food originates.

The UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens’ 5th Annual Urban Roots Symposium will explore the influence of African cultures and crops on Carolina cropland. Food writer, Adrian Miller will focus his part of the symposium on Presidential food and how many African American chefs have shaped the cuisine in the White House. This full-day event on Saturday, October 30 features four speakers and begins with a round table discussion. This event will be held in-person at The Dubois Center at Center City, with online tickets available for those that wish to attend virtually. For more information visit Gardens.Charlotte.edu.

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