It’s a celebration every time we link up.
Credit: Courtesy of Beyond the Bayou Food Blog

In celebration of Black History Month, various black bloggers have come together to create a virtual potluck, showcasing the diversity of the African-diasporic culture through food. This February marks the second year that collaborators Meiko Drew from Meiko and the Dish and Aaron Hutcherson from The Hungry Hutch coordinated the momentous effort. Between busy schedules, work commitments and family engagements, it’s already difficult enough to gather your friends for a simple brunch, much less plan a virtual gathering of 28 people based all over the country. So, how exactly does a virtual potluck work?

Each blogger creates a dish for the potluck, and then publishes the recipe (and story behind it) on their individual site at the beginning of the month. Each blogger’s recipe post also provides links to all the other potluck participants’ dishes. It’s actually a pretty incredible communal concept, made possible by the Internet.

Credit: Courtesy of Chocolate for Basil

Courtesy of Chocolate for Basil

Despite the overwhelming excess of noise perpetuated by social media’s place in society, it’s more important than ever to use the technology available to use for sharing intelligently and promoting connectivity. When it comes to food and diversity, naturally, everyone wants to see their cultures represented well. Food provides a sense of pride and belonging, and the accessibility of blogging creates a space to share personal stories and one’s unique perspective through the lens of food. The tradition of “black-centric” food goes beyond and is not limited collard greens and fried chicken—though these dishes are delicious. (As a personal preference, I actually enjoy Jamaican callaloo, a stewed leaf vegetable dish, over collards.) It’s a compilation of cuisines from the American South to the Caribbean, South American countries, African countries and more.

In the virtual potluck, Jerelle Guy from Chocolate for Basil features her version of Pilau Masala, an East African toasted rice dish spiced with cardamom, cloves, cumin, black pepper and cinnamon. Marwin Brown of Food Fidelity shows his Afro-Caribbean and Spanish roots with mofongo relleno, a dish of mashed plantains with garlic, subbing the traditional fried pork rinds with shrimp. Drew, the co-creator of the potluck, shared her Candied Bourbon Peach Cobbler that you have got to make for your next family gathering. Since turmeric is a key ingredient in Jamaican curry chicken, I submitted an easy Honey Chicken Skillet recipe that takes advantage of the golden spice and also allows you to get dinner on the table quickly. (And, honestly, I’m completely obsessed with this super nutritive spice.)

Each blogger’s dish featured in the potluck is a representation of their personal culture and relationship to food. I can’t imagine a better way to start Black History Month than a plate filled of food for the soul.

Visit Meiko and the Dish or The Hungry Hutch for a full list of the potluck participants and their recipes.