Creole Food

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About
The first thing that comes to mind on hearing the term is the food of the Mississippi Delta, a blend of French and American Indian cooking. But it is worth considering also the example of linguists who use ‘creole’ to refer to the language spoken by the children of individuals who by reason of migration, trade, or conquest had developed a rudimentary pidgin to deal with foreign-language speakers. Unlike pidgins, creoles develop complex grammars and extensive new vocabularies and have proved a rich resource for investigating the origin and growth of languages. In a parallel manner, creole foods—foods eaten by the descendants of parents from very different culinary traditions—offer the promise of throwing light on the causes of culinary change.