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How do you eat your spaghetti?

Let’s be real, spaghetti is a beloved staple in many American households, especially in the Black community. Growing up, spaghetti night was a weekly tradition in my family. The smell of simmering meat sauce and the sound of noodles boiling meant comfort. Spaghetti was often the first dish we learned to make as kids. Though simple, there’s so much room for creativity! People have strong opinions on how to prepare the perfect bowl. Some like the noodles and sauce mixed together, while others prefer the sauce ladled on top. Do you buy sauce in a jar or make your own from scratch? Savory or sweet? Sausage, ground beef, or turkey? However you dress it up, spaghetti holds a special place in our hearts and bellies. The version you grew up with is the best version. At the end of the day, as long as you’ve got noodles, sauce, and love, you can’t go wrong with spaghetti night. Dig in!

Just a little backstory…….

Many people may not realize that poor Italian immigrants made an important culinary contribution to Black American culture in the post-Civil War Delta region. After settling in the area, these immigrants introduced their traditional pasta dishes, like spaghetti, to the local African American community. Over time, spaghetti became a beloved soul food staple as Black Americans adopted and adapted Italian noodle recipes using available ingredients. This little-known history shows how diverse cultures can intersect and influence each other’s foodways and traditions in unexpected ways. Though started by marginalized immigrant groups, spaghetti and soul food now represent cherished parts of African American culture and heritage in the South.

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