Welcome to my blog, The Diasporic Dish. I am excited to have you! My name is Sharila (@thediasporicdish), and I am a NYU law student with a passion for food. My perfect Sunday afternoon is curling up on the sofa with a book as the tantalizing scent of a new recipe wafts through the house.
The idea behind this blog materialized one fall evening. As I began flipping through my copy of Marcus Samuelsson’s new cookbook, The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food, I realized that I wanted to cook through it. Not just try out a few recipes, but really experience it. The book was like a culinary directory of influential Black figures in the food world, and I wanted to know them.
One of the best ways to truly know someone, to understand their heritage and perspective, is to taste their food. The Rise is a launchpad, my opportunity to experience the techniques and flavors of Black chefs, food writers, restauranteurs, and activists across the globe.
The diverse cuisines of the African Diaspora have always intrigued me, as they represent the richness of the Black experience. As a Black American with a love for all things soul food, I love to see how a dish like West African okro soup mirrors the gumbo honed by Creoles. Or how we all tend to like our food well-cooked and highly seasoned.
This is a testament to the fact that, while Black people across the globe have our own differences crafted by circumstance and place, we are brought together by an essence that is hard to pin down. You just know it when you taste it.