I was eating with some friends the other day and I ordered a bowl of Collard Greens cooked with Hog Jowl, they looked at me strangely, I told them, I grew up eating this with Black-eyed peas and cornbread. My grandmother would cook this often. This is what you call, "soul food". It is a comfort food that nourishes the soul too. One of my friends tired it, wouldn't you know it....they liked it.
Traditional African-American Southern food is called "soul food", meaning the soul defined their culture. Although many of these dishes were birthed from a culture during the sad days of slavery in the South, it still remains main dishes among the predominantly rural and southern African American population.
Because it was illegal in many states for enslaved Africans to learn to read or write, "soul food" recipes and cooking techniques tended to be passed along orally, until after slavery. Dishes like chitterlings (called chit’lins) which are fried or boiled small intestines of hogs, livermush (a common dish in the Carolinas made from hog liver), and pork brains and eggs can offer to any a folk a “soul food experience” in small cafes around about the Southern states. You can also find now a days, a variety of “soul food” cookbooks in your bookstores and libraries.
Probably the most familiar dishes are fried catfish and chicken with dashes of mustard or hot sauce. Come to think of it, I think I will just have to have me a mess of fried chicken & bowl of white beans. Hope Ya’ll will too.