Waste not welcome

This piece provides a little culinary exploration into the origins of traditional African American foods and a bit of watermelon history. In it, there’s a nice nugget about thrift:

Nothing was ever wasted in the African American kitchen. Leftover fish became croquettes (by adding an egg, cornmeal or flour, seasonings and breaded then deep-fried). Stale bread became bread pudding, and each part of the pig had its own special dish. Even the liquid from the boiled vegetables was turned into “pot likker” which was used as a type of gravy or as a drink in and of itself.  

I think the same can be said for any ethnic group or family struggling to make ends meet. Whether or not that skimping continues as the group moves up the socio-economic ladder, is another question. It’d be interesting to see how prevalent this aversion to waste remains in the African American community. If I had to guess, it probably varies a great deal depending on the economics.

The second best thing about the article: now I know the meaning of pot likker, not to be confused with my all-time favorite food, pot stickers.   

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