Are you looking to brush up on your southern cooking skills? We are here to help. A Black Southern Belle loves to cook and entertain for her family and we all need a little cooking inspiration from time to time. With that in mind, we curated 20 of our favorite African American Cookbooks that will help you dazzle your guests with true southern cuisine. These 20 African American Cookbooks are the perfect collection to add to your home library and kitchen decor and perfect gifts for a pair of newlyweds. Check out these classics and happy entertaining!

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#1 The Taste of Country Cooking: 30th Anniversary Edition

In recipes and reminiscences equally delicious, Edna Lewis celebrates the uniquely American country cooking she grew up with some fifty years ago in a small Virginia Piedmont farming community that had been settled by freed slaves. With menus for the four seasons, she shares the ways her family prepared and enjoyed food, savoring the delights of each special time of year:


#2 New Orleans Cookbook

From Lobster Salad to Baked Stuffed Oysters and Crawfish Bisque, this compilation of recipes offers the best of New Orleans cuisine. Chef Lena Richards pulled inspiration from her southern roots and her experience in the catering business, to create delectable dishes. In addition to recipes, this comprehensive cookbook offers menu ideas for both formal and informal dinners.


#3 The Dooky Chase Cookbook

Delectable Creole recipes from both the restaurant menu and personal files. Leah Chase spices her cookbook with stories that reflect her Creole heritage and document the origin of various recipes.


#4 And Still I Cook

This second cookbook from Leah Chase not only comes with her famous recipes, but it also contains her reflections on life, business, family, and friends. Now in paperback, the collection includes menus for special events.


#5 In Pursuit Of Flavor

Lewis draws on her childhood in Freetown, Virginia, to re-create some of the simple, honest dishes she grew up on. She shows readers ways in which to get the best possible flavor from foods bought in supermarkets and farmers markets.


#6 A Real Southern Cook

In her first cookbook, a revered former cook at Savannah’s most renowned restaurant divulges her locally famous Savannah recipesa��many of them never written down beforea��and those of her family and friends.A�Hundreds of thousands of people have made a trip to dine on the exceptional food cooked by Dora Charles at Savannah’s most famous restaurant. Now, the woman who was barraged by editors and agents to tell her story invites us into her home to taste the food she loves best.


#7 Melba’s American Comfort: 100 Recipes from My Heart to Your Kitchen

Fresh from the kitchen of her legendary Harlem restaurant, Melbaa��s, the reigning queen of American comfort food serves up one hundred delectable recipes that put her own special touch on favorite dishesa��and taste just like home.


#8 Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories

Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful MemoriesA�is the debut cookbook from sensational food writer, Jocelyn Delk Adams. Since founding her popular recipe blogA�Grandbaby Cakesin 2012, Adams has been putting fresh twists on old favorites. Adams has earned praise from critics and the adoration of bakers both young and old for her easygoing advice, rich photography, and the heartwarming memories she shares of her familya��s generations-old love of baking.


#9 Sweetie Pie’s Cookbook: Soulful Southern Recipes, from My Family to Yours

The beloved owner of the wildly popular Sweetie Pie’s restaurant, and star of the OWN reality television showA�Welcome to Sweetie Pie’sA�shares recipes for her renowned soul food and the lessons she’s learned on the path to success.


#10 Sylvia’s Family Soul Food Cookbook: From Hemingway, South Carolina, To Har

Sylvia’s Family Soul Food CookbookA�begins as Sylvia recalls her childhood, when she lived with both herA�mother and her grandmother — the town’s only midwives. The entire community of Hemingway, South Carolina, shared responsibilities, helped raise all of the children, and worked side by side together every day in the bean fields. Perhaps most important, the community shared its food and recipes. When Sylvia set out to write this cookbook, she decided to hold a cook-off back home in Hemingway at Jeremiah Church. Family and friends of all ages shared their favorite dishes as well as their spirit and love for one another. The recipes offered at the cook-off were then compiled to create this incredible collection, along with many of Sylvia’s and the Woods family’s own recipes.


#11 Mama Dip’s Kitchen

For nearly twenty-five years, Mildred Council–better known by her nickname, Mama Dip–has nourished thousands of hungry folks in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her restaurant, Mama Dip’s Kitchen, is a much-loved community institution that has gained loyal fans and customers from all walks of life, fromA�New York TimesA�food writer Craig Claiborne to former Tar Heel basketball player Michael Jordan.


#12 The Black Family Reunion Cookbook

The Black Family Reunion Celebrations, organized by The National Council of Negro Women and held in seven cities across America every summer, celebrate and preserve the values, traditions, and strengths of the African-American family. Inspired by these festivals,A�The Black Family Reunion CookbookA�contains more than 250 recipes from home kitchens across America, seasoned with warm memories and a�?homemade love.a


#13 The African-American Heritage Cookbook: Traditional Recipes and Fond Rememb

The African-American Heritage Cookbook was a Literary Guild Selection.A�Includes more than 200 recipes for beverages, appetizers, entrees, side dishes, breads, and desserts


#14 Sweets: Soul Food Desserts and Memories

Growing up in a large African-American family in a small town in Michigan, Patty Pinner spent her childhood helping the women of the house-the Queens of Soul Food-whip up the sweet treats that crowned family dinners, neighborhood gatherings, and church socials. In SWEETS, Patty shares her family’s stories, maxims, and magical desserts, many named after family members like Cud’n Daisy, Aint Sug, and My My, her beloved grandmother. Part recipe book, part family history, this sweet-as-can-be cookbook is a heartfelt tribute to women who ruled the home and the kitchen with their wisdom, hearts, and cooking.


#15 Soul Food: Classic Cuisine from the Deep South

In a book brimming with humor and vibrant personality, Sheila Ferguson presents 200 mouth-watering recipes, many of them part of her own family heritage. She explains the blend of African, Cajun, Creole, and other influencesa��such as gumbo and jambalayaa��behind their enticing flavors, describing the meals of the slave quarters and elegant plantation houses and, along the way, passing on family anecdotes and kitchen secrets handed down from generation to generation.


#16 The Church Ladies’ Celestial Suppers and Sensible Advice

The author ofA�The Church Ladies’ Divine DessertsA�returns with recipes for all courses-and for every occasion. This delightful treasury offers not only crowd-pleasing recipes but also Church Lady words of wisdom on manners and decorum, along with engaging stories from the lives of the Church Ladies. More than 200 recipes for everything from salads to sides to seafood.


#17 The Church Ladies’ Divine Desserts

No one more than a church lady is aware of the power of a creamy four-layer chocolate pie, Florida cookies that taste like sunshine, or a pound cake with a crumb as fine as face powder. This cookbook is filled with recipes for such irresistible treats-and a lot more.


#18 Soul Food: Recipes and Reflections from African-American Churches

When Joyce White moved to New York City from Alabama, she left small-town life behind and landed ajob as a food editor at a major women’s magazine. Weekends, however, found her visiting churches in Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvestant, looking for a taste of home. Food has long been a part of the spiritual life of African-American churches, and what she found there, along with what she missed from home, was the comforting blend of cooking and fellowship that feeds both the body and soul.



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