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Bissap Recipe – Los Angeles Times

Bissap Recipe Los Angeles Times
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Traditionally, Juneteenth celebrations offer an abundance of red food as a symbol of the struggle toward emancipation, the blood of our ancestors and their resilient spirit to persevere to overcome oppression. That food includes barbecue, red beans and rice, red velvet cake and strawberry soda. Sweet beverages, a luxury denied to the enslaved, were enjoyed by the newly freed.
My first taste of bissap — a sweetened hibiscus beverage — was in Dakar. However, the last time I had it was at a Senegalese cafe around the corner from the Studio Museum in Harlem. Its cloying sweetness brought up memories of the markets that line the sandy district of Grand Yoff in Dakar. It also made me think that the drink would be really delicious as a spritz.
Soul food is defined by the necessity of improvisation, adaptation and evolution of Afro-Indigenous foodways as Black cooks migrated into the diaspora. I’ve served this drink, and other interpretations of West African dishes, on my menus since my first pop-up to celebrate this movement. — Ray Anthony Barrett





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