Florida Heritage Foods

Cultural Collections


African food and culture entered European-American homes by the late 17th century through the enslavement of African people. Folklore, archaeological evidence, and a rich oral tradition has shown that enslaved cooks, most of their names now lost, weaved their knowledge of African food and cooking into the fabric of America’s culinary heritage by blending European, African, Latin American and Native American crops and cuisines. Enslaved cooks invented unique flavors and new recipes by combining old and new ingredients such as collards from Europe, sweet potatoes from Latin America, okra from Africa, and indigenous corn which have become staples of historically African-American cuisine and Southern food today.