by Jessica B. Harris

Bloomsbury Press, $26.00, 304 pages

Some books are just pornography for the epicurean. High on the Hog describes the role food has played in the history of the African-American experience, from the slave trade to modern America. It looks at how food has shaped where black people have gone, and how where they have gone has influenced which foods have a cultural resonance. It shows demonstrably that we are what we eat, and how that can influence where we go, both on the map and in our destinies. Better yet, it also includes a section of some of the classic African-American recipes.

This is definitely a book for historians and epicureans alike. The book is lovingly presented, with a love of both the foods and people that introduced them. It does not rely on tracking down every detail, worrying about the general scope of history and how food has affected the history of a group of people. This is a book that explores a people, and what happened to them as well as where they may go, through that people’s diet and which foods made a difference. This book will inspire readers to look at what they eat in a new light.

Jamais Jochim