Yesterday on Splendid Table, Lynne Rossetto Kasper spoke with culinary historian, Michael Twitty, regarding his recent partnership with Landreth Seed Company, America's oldest seed company.
On the anniversary of its 225th year, Landreth Seed Company tapped Twitty to assist in assembling their African American Heritage Collection. The fruits and vegetables harvested from these seeds were the dietary staples of the enslaved African American.
What I found fascinating was Twitty's statement that many of these seeds didn't come on ships with the slaves (in fact he said that "rarely was the case.") Instead, the seeds were brought over by slave owners in order to feed the enslaved workforce. The foods were used "to placate, to assuage the process of these people being in exile and being worked...not for their own benefit."
The seed collection gives you a taste of "botanical story of the African American people."
Listen to the interview and then check out the seed catalog.