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June is National Soul Food Month

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Here at Explore Pine Bluff, we’re always excited whenever National Soul Food month rolls around. Why? Because it gives us an extra reason to draw attention to the local food scene in Pine Bluff, which offers more than a little soul food.

Soul food is a cuisine steeped in tradition. It began in the humble kitchens of African American slaves as one-pot meals cooked on a shelf over the fireplace. Families had little to cook with, but they had memories of their home and love for their family, which comes through loud and clear in the delectable concoctions. To draw attention to this rich and delicious tradition, the Culinary Historians of Chicago created National Soul Food Month.

Did you know these interesting facts about soul food?

  • Cooks used their skills to turn cheap and unappealing cuts of meat into delicious meals.

  • We only recently recognized kale as a "super food." Soul food has depended on it for ages.

  • In a soul food restaurant, "red" means a drink — strawberry, cherry or tropical punch. No explanation required.

  • Soul cuisine has embraced many vegan recipes that are spicy, healthy, and delicious! Historically, chefs used seasonal vegetables to cook dishes — with meat thrown in mainly for flavoring.

What’s the best way to celebrate National Soul Food Month? [HINT: It involves eating. Lots of eating.]

Eat at a soul food restaurant. There are plenty to choose from in Pine Bluff. We're pretty sure you will love the food!

Make some soul food for the whole family. Take your pick — smothered pork chops, fried chicken, boiled cabbage, southern potato salad, stuffed peppers, or peach cobbler. The list goes on and on.

Support soul food businesses in Pine Bluff. You can play a part in ensuring that African American food traditions stay alive and well.

Here in Pine Bluff, fried catfish is more than one of the staples on the local soul food menu. Catfish, breaded and deep fried, is a Pine Bluff specialty. For some, it’s a way of life. And for the truly devoted, it’s a religion. If you’ve never tried catfish done the Pine Bluff way and you’re in the mood to venture out, head over to Grider Field Restaurant, RJ’s Sports Grill & Bar, Cheers At The BBQ Hut, Leon's Catfish & Shrimp Restaurant, Ocean's Fish & Chicken – just to name a few. You won’t be disappointed. Or fry some up at home for your July 4th barbecue and serve it loaded up with hot sauce and with a side of collard greens, coleslaw, hush puppies, buttermilk biscuits, and fries. If that doesn’t get you in the mood for fireworks, nothing will.

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