Rice Connections in the African Diaspora

In December 2016, ethno-botanist and Trinidad native Francis Morean sponsored and organized the first Hill Rice Symposium on the island nation. This blog’s author had the privileged of being a presenter and participant. A number of distinguished persons representing different areas of work but with an overlapping interest in rice culture, the African diaspora, food history and the Gullah Geechee people. Those present inlcuded chef B. J. Dennis, Queen Quet of the Gullah Geechee Nation, Anthony Richardson and the famous food historian David Shields.

Dennis, Queen Quet, Dr. Richardson, Dr. Shields with rice planter in Moruga, T&T


While visiting the rice fields Shields and Dennis immediately wondered about the heritage and even species of (could it be glaberrima?) of the variety of rice use din hill rice? The story of much of this is told in the New York Times.

Severson is right that rice is a rabbit hole for food scholars (my friends can attest to that!).

Hill Rice Field nearing maturity, Dec. 2016


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