Forsyth Farmers’ Market announces summer slate of A Taste of African Heritage classes

Forsyth Farmers’ Market is gearing up.

Forsyth Farmers’ Market is gearing up to host their next edition of the A Taste of African Heritage classes, which engage the community in cooking plant-based recipes from the African diaspora.

These free and open-to-the-public classes are made possible through a partnership with Oldways, a nonprofit that promotes healthy eating through cultural food traditions.

Aja Embry, Forsyth Farmers’ Market’s Director of Community Building, coordinates the ATOAH classes and looks forward to the upcoming installments. Oldways offers curriculums based on foodways from different cultures, including Latin and Mediterranean. Forsyth Farmers’ Market chose the African curriculum based on Savannah’s predominantly African American population.

Embry says, “It’s culturally relevant for us to do the [African heritage] classes here in Savannah. These classes encompass Creole, Caribbean, and Gullah Geechee eating methods – anything culturally relevant to this curriculum.”

An interesting highlight is the focus on plant-based recipes featuring seasonal produce. Embry explains, “In the African diaspora culture, meat wasn’t normal for every meal. The meals are heavy in greens and other produce, with meat as a side. The plant-based portion is about getting nutrients from plants. It also helps us highlight what our farmers sell.”

Throughout the year, classes spotlight in-season produce. For example, cooler months featured radishes, turnips, and kohlrabi. This summer, they’ll highlight tomatoes, squash, and hopefully okra. Embry says, “We make it three different ways because that expands our minds… That’s the goal – highlight produce and cook it differently than we’re used to.”

These classes also serve as nutrition lessons, teaching substitutions like flaxseed for eggs or oat milk for dairy milk.

Embry encourages public attendance, as the classes provide insights into African diaspora culinary traditions while fostering community around cooking and eating. She says, “The African heritage food pyramid is different from the standard American one… The base is community interactions, being active, and engaging with others. We believe these cooking classes honor that communal support.”

Community is core to these efforts, and Forsyth Farmers’ Market seeks partners to make ATOAH classes more accessible, as they often reach capacity.

The next class is Thursday, June 20, at 5:30 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Avenue Resource Center. Future dates are July 25, August 29, and September 26. Registration via Eventbrite is required due to limited space. Visit forsythfarmersmarket.com/nutrition-education for more information.

Credit: Original article published here.

Gumption Team

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