When it comes to southern cooking, Punta Gorda has a rich history.
The Blanchard House Museum of African American History in Punta Gorda has a new exhibit. Attendees can learn about the African lineage of foods that slaves consumed and prepared when they were brought to America.
“You can not tell Punta Gorda History, unless you tell African American history,” Martha Bireda said, director of the Blanchard House Museum.
The Blanchard House Museum will unveil its new exhibit, African Roots of Southern Cooking, during its season reception on Saturday Sept. 29, 2018 from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. The exhibit will be opened to the general public starting Oct. 1.
Visitors will learn about the traditions, cooking styles and crops that were important to West Africans, along with how cuisines evolved incorporating African influences.
“What people don’t understand is just because we came on those ships," Martha said, "doesn’t mean we left our memories behind or we left our culture behind."