This week we worked with another popular member of the Brassica genus, collard greens, and a rare ingredient in The Breakfast Project kitchen, bacon! We discussed the culinary tradition of eating stewed greens with bread to soak up their cooking juices, which is found in many countries across the African continent. Starting in the 1600s, enslaved African people took the ingredients they had access to in Colonial America and applied traditional cooking methods from their homelands, creating new dishes that had never existed before. We watched a video of Dadisi Olutosin, a chef from Atlanta, Georgia, talk about the collard greens he grew up eating in the South and how he now prepares the dish with overt Caribbean and West Indian influences like peanuts and coconut milk.
There’s no denying the results are delicious when you wait for collards to become tender and you achieve the perfect balance of savory, tart, sweet, and heat from bacon, vinegar, sugar, and hot sauce. The collards the second graders prepared were featured last night at the Black History Dinner and Honor Roll Celebration. It was really meaningful to see students take such pride in sharing their work with their families!