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About Foodizen

Foodizen, a regular feature from The Citizen, delves into the nexus of food and culture in cities, as a way to tell us about the people, experiences, tastes and history of Philadelphia.

The Food History podcast tells the unknown back story of the foods we enjoy, with a particular look at the African American and Philly roots of so many American specialties.

Tonya Hopkins, aka The Food Griot, founded the nonfiction story-telling platform, “The Food Griot: Sharing Savory Stories on The Makings of American Cuisine, (Cocktails)…” She has researched and written for several scholarly and consumer publications and appears regularly on radio and television. Her work in culinary history activism aims to help disenfranchised, mostly black and brown food/drink industry professionals achieve greater inclusion, equity and wholesome empowerment. Follow @TheFoodGriot on: InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Foodizen takes us into neighborhoods, far from the Center City foodie epicenter, not just for stories but also for community gatherings to explore some of the ideas that are continuously re-creating the city of Philadelphia.
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Foodizen Podcast: What’s On Your Kwanzaa Table?

Philly boasts one of the longest-running celebrations of the African-inspired holiday that runs from December 26 to January 1. This episode of our food history podcast explores what it means.

Foodizen Podcast: What’s On Your Kwanzaa Table?

Philly boasts one of the longest-running celebrations of the African-inspired holiday that runs from December 26 to January 1. This episode of our food history podcast explores what it means.

Since Kwanzaa’s inception in 1966, Philadelphia has been home to some of the most robust Kwanzaa celebrations in the country—from the lighting of Boathouse Row to festivals and events across the city, most open to the public.

There are also many quieter family affairs over the course of the seven-day holiday.

Translated as “first fruits of the harvest,” Kwanzaa is an American holiday of African heritage—a celebration of family, community and culture—that Philly has been celebrating for over a half century.

Listen here for the history of Kwanzaa and its food traditions—including a rare interview with Kwanzaa’s founder Dr. Maulana Karenga.

Want to make your own delicious Kwanzaa bites? Try my pepper pot soup and Kwanzaa cookie recipes.

Tonya Hopkins, aka The Food Griot, founded the nonfiction storytelling platform “The Food Griot: Sharing Savory Stories on The Makings of American Cuisine, (Cocktails)…” She has researched and written for several scholarly and consumer publications and appears regularly on radio and television. Her work in culinary history activism aims to help disenfranchised, mostly black and brown food-and-drink industry professionals achieve greater inclusion, equity and wholesome empowerment. Follow @TheFoodGriot on: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and visit her website: thefoodgriot.com.

Photo courtesy J. Fusco / Visit Philadelphia

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