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Ancestral Cooking Forum

Re: "What the Slaves Ate"
In Response To: Re: "What the Slaves Ate" ()

Found this interesting account from:

African Americans in the Colonial Era: From African Origins through the American Revolution
By: Donald R. Wright

What the slaves ate depended in part on where they left Africa. Corn, millet, and rice were staples for vessels leaving the less-forested coasts (Senegambia, Angola). Yams were standard fare from the Niger Delta to the Congo River. English captains often brought provisions from home, too, and these included biscuits and dried beans for their ease of storage and general acceptance. All of these items, sometimes in combination, tended to be supplemented with peppers, palm oil, or bits of salted meat or fish. In the latter part of the eighteenth century captains added lime juice to the diet to prevent scurvy. “Three meals a day” is a modern convention that concerned slavers little. Slaves normally ate twice, morning and evening, in small groups out of communal tubs. Whatever the crew fixed usually turned out to be a soup or stew-like concoction without much variety. Each African on board consumed daily, on average, about 2,000 calories.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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