Short Takes: Soul Food Junkies

| Fri Jan. 11, 2013 6:01 AM EST

Soul Food Junkies

ITVS

63 minutes

Seasoned. Battered. Smoked. Fried. Collard greens, fried chicken, corn bread, mac and cheese, sweet potato pie. Byron Hurt's Soul Food Junkies makes you hungry and makes you think. In this insightful cooking show twist, Hurt traces black cuisine and its culture from slave times to the present using artful woodcuts, archival footage, a buffet of voices, and plenty of casserole dishes. At one point he partakes of a vat of corn and turkey necks at a tailgate party. "This is how we survived, this is what they gave us," the cook says. But the cheap high-calorie food once meant to keep slaves working bears a modern price, contributing to high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity—especially as mama's fried chicken is replaced with the Colonel's.

This review originally appeared in the January/February issue of Mother Jones.