Like We Used To Do

gemerlap malam yang kali ini purnamanya tampak begitu bulat sempurna membuat samudera januar akhirnya memutuskan untuk pergi ke rumah sebelah, tidak ada alasan khusus, itu hanya rutinitasnya saja…


The Evolution of Cornbread

For my project I chose to research the history and impact of cornbread culture on the Appalachia region. The question I will be trying to answer throughout my project is how the evolution of cornbread has been so important to the Appalachian region. To do this I will need to do three things; identify the true origins of cornbread, the explore the different interpretations of cornbread and lastly discover cornbread’s place in Appalachia food culture.

The first introduction of Cornbread in America was the pre-European Native Americans when they used maize, which they ground into a meal and mixed with water and salt. It was the Europeans who were first to modify the recipe and like many other groups who did so, they did it to feel more at home in America. Their adaption reflected the cooking style of their home nations, they did this by adding ingredients they brought from overseas, like wheat.

. When the recipe was first developed it was rather simple because at the time, the 17th century, resources were limited. But over time it became more and more intricate and detailed as more resources became available. I learned this by researching cornbread recipes that date all the way back to the 17th century to more modern ones from the 20th century. By doing this I was able to see what changed about the recipe and what stayed the same. The biggest thing I found was that early versions of corn bread weren’t as flavorful, relying heavily on ingredients like butter and eggs. In the early 1800s yeast and flour were added to recipe making the bread last longer. Into the last 1800s things like sugar and soda were added to cornbread recipes to make it more flavorful. Allison Burkett of the University of Mississippi said it best, “The second era (the 1800s) can be characterized as an era of hybridization, as colonists incorporate additional ingredients and techniques to indigenous dishes, most likely in an attempt to approximate homeland baking” (Burkett 14). Today’s versions of cornbread are a combination of all the different styles over the years. Like the older recipes current recipes still use cornmeal, flour and eggs (Cunningham, 15). But unlike like the older recipes the new ones use sugar, baking powder and even skim milk (Various Californian women, 42). All these new ingredients were added because of the expansion of resources due to the prosperity of the time and to sweeten the bread make it more enjoyable.

To me it seems crazy to me that a recipe was first introduced at the beginning of American history is still very much a part of American culture in the south. Today cornbread is widely any integral part of southern culture and is something that is usually associated with all forms of southern cooking because recipes have been along for so long. I researched personal testimonies related to cornbread and found there are thousands of stories of Appalachian born people recalling their childhood and the role cornbread played in it. This is important because of its overwhelming popularity in region corn bread is considered a tradition of some sorts. When describing cornbread in her cookbook Ronni Lundy said this, ““Give us this day our daily cornbread…” could be the standard grace for tables all around the mountain South” (Lundy,10). And boy was she right! No matter your age, gender or race if you’re from Appalachia cornbread is part of the regions cultural identity.

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