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Professor of History and Foodways


Frederick Douglass Opie is the author of Hog and Hominy: from Africa to America, Black Labor Migration in Caribbean Guatemala, 1882-1923.  He has appeared in the NYC cable TV series Appetite City hosted by former New York Times food critic William Grimes, the History Channel's 101 Fast Foods That have Changed the World, and Film Maker Byron Hurt's documentary Soul Food Junkies.  Opie is the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at The W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.  He teaches and writes about the history of food traditions, cultures, and systems and how and why they have changed.  His work focuses on campaigns and movements for, about, and involving food.

Appetite City: Soul Food

Host William Grimes takes a journey back in time to the glory days of Harlem when he explores the origins and evolution of “Soul Food.” At a favorite local restaurant he speaks with soul food expert and author Frederick Douglass Opie and later has our historic gastronomist whip up a soul food favorite. Then viewers can join award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson at his newest Harlem-based restaurant where he’s putting a whole new spin on this down-home favorite.

Heritage Foods From the Americas

The following is a prerecorded radio interview from Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders.  Listen ›

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, food historian and blogger Frederick Douglass Opie is tracing hominy, plantains, spicy peppers, and tomatoes through the Pre-Columbian cuisines of the Aztecs, Incas, and Arawaks to today. Curried Yucca Crab Cakes with Piquillo Pepper Sauce and Mango-Papaya Chutney anyone?


Ph.D., History, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
B.S., Education, Syracuse University

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Food As a LensFrederick Douglass Opie, Food As A Lens, on Facebook Follow Dr Fred D Opie on Twitter
Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America
Buy the book Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America from