They Called it Callaloo

Stuck off the beaten track, but surrounded by the heavy traffic of a congested city, the Grand Market in Virginia Beach, Virginia is not an easy one to pinpoint, even with GPS  tracking technology. But "Sam's" voice droned "Turn right, then left," and somehow  I managed to avoid the motorcycle on a kamikaze path to my…

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With Roots in East Africa: Okra, a Veritable World Traveler

Yesterday, while driving across the vast expanse of South Carolina, I noticed dueling billboards, advertising Margaret Holmes canned goods and the Glory line of fresh chopped collards and Bruce's Candied Yams. So I decided to repost this while I look more deeply into the foods eaten in Africa prior to the tragedy of the African…

Okra’s Obstreperous Origins

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus, previously Hibiscus esculentus), that beveled beauty so beloved by Arab, Indian, Southern American, and West African cooks for its mucilaginous nature, originated in Ethiopia. From the Niger-Congo language family, the term "okra" derives from a Twi word, nkuruma, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). By the early 1800s, English speakers called…