The smell of Greens and Fried Chicken, wafting in the air, is one of my earliest memories of Soul Food and my most prominent. My mother, cooking in the kitchen, flour on her apron, carnation milk in her hand mixing macaroni and cheese. Soul Food is African-American cuisine. The recipes, and their many variations originate from the rations (scraps) given to slaves by their owners. It is a part of our heritage and culture, as much as our hair, the food we consume is important to us. Family recipes passed down from generation to generation of African Americans, a legacy of love. The ability to sit together and share a meal, laughing, bonding and enjoying each other’s company, is a cornerstone of my African American family.
Some of the best Soul Food I have ever tasted has been in Atlanta, Georgia at the Historical Paschal’s. Now if you have never been, you are missing out. The food is delicious and the history is rich. Paschal’s was started in 1947 by two brothers, James and Robert Paschal. If you get a chance, have the historian tell you the history of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the brothers' dedication to the Civil Rights Movement. I had the pleasure of listening to the story of how the brothers bailed out Civil Rights Protestors and fed them a hot meal of soul food, having meetings in the adjoining hotel.
In 2006, my oldest brother introduced me to the historical restaurant, for his wedding rehearsal dinner, and I have been in love ever since. Fried chicken is the restaurants specialty and let me say they are experts on the subject. For me, good fried chicken has to have a crisp crust while having a moist interior, and the seasoning has to enhance the natural flavor of the meat. The chicken at Paschal’s does not disappoint, it is a standard in the community. The Fried Chicken though, is not without equally strong sides, such as Southern Macaroni and Cheese, and Collards Greens.
Save room for the Peach Cobbler. You can thank me later.
Written by Lorenzo A. Brent, MBA
Lorenzo is the Director of Operations at Uniglobe Travel Designers. Lorenzo comes from a large family with a passion for cooking. He enjoys creating new recipes at home, to trade with his Dad. He is an avid reader, and spends his spare time traveling with family and friends.