Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Search
MENU
x
x
Unit Home
x
Unit Content Overview
x
Readings
x
References & Sources
x
Unit Audio Glossary
x
Related Units
x
x

UNIT 16: Food, Demographics, and Culture

x

VIDEO SEGMENT: Food and the Columbian Exchange: The Caribbean Experience

This segment explores the culinary effects of the Columbian Exchange in one region: the Caribbean. In these islands, one culinary item in particular — sugar — transformed cultures, economies, and diets worldwide.

Sugar, a rare and highly prized food item in Europe, was well suited to the tropical climate of the Caribbean. However, sugar production requires a steady supply of labor; by the early sixteenth century, Europeans had begun to obtain that labor through slaves from West Africa. Increased sugar production resulted in a corresponding increase in demand in Europe, which in turn led to even more production and demand. To feed this demand, at least 12 million slaves were forced to cross the Atlantic between 1508 and 1885.

One result of the sugar/slave system in the Caribbean was that it became a place where the culinary habits of many different cultures intermingled. The cooking styles of African, European, and indigenous cultures were all reflected in Caribbean cuisine, as was the use of New World plants such as cassava. This process of melding a variety of traditions into new, distinct traditions is often known as "creolization." At the same time, food in the Caribbean was also used in symbolic and ritualistic ways to signify resistance to the highly stratified and racialised order of Caribbean plantation society.

SELECTED IMAGES AND MAPS


Anonymous, SUGAR PLANTATION SLAVES (n.d.). Courtesy of Northwind Picture Archives.

Anonymous, SLAVE WOMAN (n.d.). Courtesy of Northwind Picture Archives.


Benzoni, BANANAS AND OTHER FRUIT TREES OF HISPANIOLA (1572). Courtesy of Northwind Picture Archives.

Richard Bridgens, NEGRO DANCE (1836). Courtesy of Library of Congress



x
x
  Home  |  Catalog  |  About Us  |  Search  |  Contact Us  |     Follow The Annenberg Learner on Facebook 
  © Annenberg Foundation 2013. All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy