Nicole Taylor’s The Up South Cookbook is a direct challenge to rethink the definition of Southern cuisine. As a proud southern belle in New York City, Taylor’s expanding knowledge of cultural food influences her to adapt traditional recipes. She also shares classic recipes seldom recognized outside their region, such as the Southern Rice Pilaf (see recipe below). Her recipes are globally diverse, but they’re undoubtedly Southern. In the following interview, Taylor discusses New Yorkers’ perception about Southern food and global influences.
In the back of my mind, Jocelyn Delk Adams, author and founder of GrandBaby Cakes blog, is family. I’ve never personally talked with or met her, but we’ve communicated via email or social media on several occasions. Her messages are as sweet as her blog, which is full of comfort, down home, Southern desserts with a few savory dishes between the cake recipes.
In New York, most African-American festivals have a vendor chopping the tops of fresh coconuts, in which straws are inserted for a quick sip of refreshing coconut water. The heavy fruit is returned, in which the vendor splits it in half to scoop out the white flesh. Once home, thoroughly clean the pulp and chill or freeze until ready to use. For this Smoothie Number, the pulp is added to frozen raspberries and chilled hibiscus tea for a refreshing drink on a hot and humid day. The drink is tart and sweet with a subtle hint of coconut, but it has tons of vitamin C.
A trendy, uber healthy ingredient with a long list of benefits, turmeric has a similar taste to ginger, but it’s not ginger. As a popular Indian spice, it pairs with sweet mango for a smoothie with a flavorful kick.
We initially didn’t eat want the healthy options on fast food menus, because it wasn’t going to be a happy meal. Today, chefs are creating healthy meals into exciting options. Such as Panera Bread announcing plans to eliminate chemical preservatives and artificial ingredients from their meals by 2016. It was an 11 year process of working with chefs and nutritionists to change how fast food corporations offer healthier options with tantalizing ingredients.