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"The Wesley Jones mix is perfect for rubbing meats for low and slow barbecuing as well as for grilling fish and seafood. It's not especially hot and has really good herbaceous notes; they play well with the wood-smoked peppercorn we enhanced the mixture with." - Michael W. Twitty
Please visit thecookinggene.com and afroculinaria.com
Michael W. Twitty is a culinary historian and food writer from the Washington D.C. area. He blogs at Afroculinaria.com. He’s appeared on Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern, Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates and most recently Taste the Nation with Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi. HarperCollins released Twitty’s The Cooking Gene, in 2017, tracing his ancestry through food from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom, a finalist for The Kirkus Prize and The Art of Eating Prize and a third place winner of Barnes&Noble’s Discover New Writer’s Awards in Nonfiction.
THE COOKING GENE WON the 2018 James Beard Award for best writing as well as book of the year, making him the first Black author so awarded. his piece on visiting Ghana in Bon Appetit was included in Best Food Writing in 2019 and was nominated for a 2019 James Beard Award. His next book, Rice will be out with UNC press in 2021. Koshersoul, his follow up to The Cooking Gene, will be out in 2022 through HarperCollins.
Barbecue is rooted in ancient Native American and West African traditions and found its New World creole origins in resistance to colonialism and enslavement. The mixture of traditions from the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean to those of the early Southeast, combined with those of West and Central Africans and later influences from British and German cooking combined in the catalyst hands of the Black cooks who perfected the art is crystallized by the story of Wesley Jones. Wesley Jones was interviewed by the Works Projects Administration in the 1930s along with thousands of other elders who could tell posterity more about this painful chapter in American history. He was born enslaved in South Carolina and was a barbecue man. He traveled around cooking for barbecues which were not only used by white planters for parties but used by politicians to garner favor with their constituents. On rare occasions, barbecues were held at holiday times like Christmas, Easter or Whitsuntide, cornshuckings, and weddings for the enslaved community. In his narrative, Mr. Jones describes the mop he used for the barbecues and his ingredient list describes culinary and medicinal herbs like garlic, basil and coriander alongside the usual suspects of sage, red pepper and onion. To taste this spice mix is to taste one very complex version of barbecue from the 19th century. Because Mr. Jones left this legacy to us, we are able to taste a very precious piece of our past.
Are these blends salt free?
Yes! These blends are not only salt free but they are free of any preservatives, fillers or gluten. Please note Mr. Wesley Jones Antebellum BBQ Blend has a touch of sugar in it.
Are these blends certified organic?
Unfortunately we do not have any certifications at this time but most of our spices are organically grown and all of them are non gmo. Each ingredient can be traced back to its origin. Email email@example.com for any questions.
Do you have recipes to go with these blends?
We are working on it! We have an ever expanding recipe library of chef tested recipes. Recipes using these spices will be up soon. Click here to learn more. Please shoot us an email if there are any recipes you would like to see at firstname.lastname@example.org.