June 19 is a time of celebration, remembrance and community. It commemorates the final emancipation of enslaved black people in Texas and is now a national holiday marked with parades, parties and lots of food. But you might be wondering what traditional cuisine is served at Juneteenth? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here you will find plenty of ideas for June 19 dishes to kick off your traditional June 19 celebrations!
Related: Here are 50 quotes to better understand Juneteenth
What is the traditional way to celebrate June 19?
One of the best ways to honor Juneteenth is to showcase and uplift black creators, and with this collection of Juneteenth cooking recipes, you can have delicious food in the process too! One initiative that has been elevating black makers for years is the annual Eat the Culture Juneteenth Virtual BBQ, which brings together black food bloggers to share their favorite recipes, so we can all have a chance to savor these incredible dishes and commemorate the story behind them. This year’s initiative honors nineteen Black American cookbook authors by recreating their recipes, amplifying their work, and sharing personal connections with Freedom Day. Many recipes from this year’s Cookout are included here, so be sure to sshare these recipes with your family and help carry on the legacy of celebrating progress! Yesou can find out more about the Juneteenth Virtual Cookout on the Eat Culture Websiteand you can easily follow each participant using the hashtag #JuneteenthCookout2022 on Instagram.
Related: What is June 19? Learn all about Integral Day in Black History
What food do you eat on Juneteenth?
So what foods are served on June 16 and why is it important? Well first, since it’s a warm-weather holiday, June 19 food traditions often include cooked dishes like grilled meats, potato salad, and fruity or frozen desserts. You will also see many traditional soul food dishes like fried chicken, cornbread and collard greens. There is also a particular emphasis on red foods and red drinks.
Why do we eat red food during June 19 celebrations?
Throughout the history of June 19 celebrations, red foods have played a major role in the spread. Several historical explanations have been advanced for this. First, the color red is believed to commemorate the history of struggle and bloodshed that enslaved black Americans faced. Additionally, many historians believe that the color red was an important signifier of special occasions in the West African countries where many former slaves originated, a tradition that continued into the traditions of the 19 June after emancipation.
Related: Why is the Juneteenth flag blue and red?
What are red foods for Juneteenth?
June 19 drinks
The red theme continues with traditional June 19 drinks like strawberry soda, hibiscus drinks and fruit punch. You can even serve a red cocktail to really get the party started!
Related: The best black-owned restaurants in every state
What do you serve at a Juneteenth party?
If you’re hosting a Juneteenth party, or want ideas for what to bring to a Juneteenth party, you’re in luck! This recipe collection has all the June 19 food ideas you could want, from soul food side dishes, to red foods and drinks, to amazing desserts! So go ahead, choose your recipes and have a happy June 16th!
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Jocelyne Delk Adams is the founder, author, national television personality and brand ambassador behind the award-winning cookbook Big-Baby Cakes and the food site Grandbaby-Cakes.com, who gives the generational recipes cherished by his family, especially his grandmother, their modern twist while preserving the tradition of the most important ingredients. Jocelyn is a TODAY Show Tastemaker, a Food Network judge, and was a cast member of one of Cooking Channel’s most popular shows, “Unique Sweets.” Jocelyn hopes Grandbaby Cakes will inspire a new generation of dessert lovers to learn how to bake and not feel guilty about enjoying dessert.