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Recipes From Black America – The New York Times

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The ‘Sweet Home Cafe Cookbook,’ from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, has old favorites and modern fare.

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CreditCreditSonny Figueroa/The New York Times
Florence Fabricant

The spacious, informal Sweet Home Café at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., offers a menu that represents black cooking from many regions across America. Southern fried chicken, Louisiana gumbo, Northern oyster pan roast and skillet cornbread from the West are some dishes. Now recipes from the cafe and from black home and professional cooks, mostly traditional fare, have been collected in a cookbook. Keepers like mixed greens with baby turnips, biscuits, a somewhat-upmarket pimento cheese, fried croaker, and macaroni and cheese that’s almost as easy as a packaged mix, are interspersed with history and sidebars about ingredients like okra, rice and peanuts.

“Sweet Home Cafe Cookbook: A Celebration of African American Cooking” by Albert Lukas, Jerome Grant and Jessica B. Harris (Smithsonian Books, $29.95).

More on the Sweet Home Café

Florence Fabricant is a food and wine writer. She writes the weekly Front Burner and Off the Menu columns, as well as the Pairings column, which appears alongside the monthly wine reviews. She has also written 12 cookbooks.

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