soul food plate

There are a dozen ways to start an argument in the Black community. But, nothing may illicit a more heated response than a chat about soul food rules, truths, and opinions. For many Black Americans, soul food is a key element in their most important memories. There are dozens of accurate memes about the cigarette smoking uncle with his BBQ shoes cooking up something good at the family reunion.

If there’s a wedding, funeral, birthday party, holiday, graduation, or anything in between, you can guarantee that mac and cheese, fried chicken, and greens will pop up somehow. Our food is a key part of our culture, history, and community. It’s how we show love and care for each other.

We may decide to go vegan or try different types of diets later in life but soul food will always have a special place in our hearts. So, it makes sense that folks get mad when there’s a debate food, what you do/don’t put on it, and what belongs on a plate together.

However, there are some absolute “soul food rules” that it’s okay to break. Don’t worry – I won’t tell anyone if you do these things.

Put Sugar On Those Grits

soul food rules grits


Gasp! The shame of it all. Some Black people will be ready to smack you if you suggest putting sugar in grits. They might call you a terrorist or try to take your Black card. But, to be honest, it really doesn’t taste bad when you throw a little butter in it too. Grits are versatile and delicious with cheese, salt, pepper, shrimp, gravy, or whatever you choose so toss sugar in there if you want to.

Skip The Potato Salad

Potato salad soul food rules


The debate over good potato salad will never end. Nothing will make a Black person more upset than someone putting a forbidden ingredient in potato salad. And, if you bring some to an event it better pass the taste test.

However, it’s okay to admit that you don’t really care about potato salad (or any cold stuff) at the function. It’s okay to not want the coleslaw at the cookout. Maybe you don’t like cold eggs, mayo, and potatoes mixed together in a bowl. It’s okay. Use that space for an extra roll or another scoop of greens.

Take the Bananas Out the Pudding

banana pudding


I mean…who really wants soggy bananas? The real draw for the pudding is those delicious cookies anyway. In fact, a banana pudding is really its best with more of the custard, cookies, and that old-school meringue on top. Pick them out and enjoy your dessert!

What are some soul food rules that you go against?

Do you put sugar on your rice? Are you really not a fan of chicken at all? Do you not put ham hocks or another meat in your greens? This is your time to stand in your own truth and enjoy food with no shame! Just don’t take it too far and start putting vegetables in mac and cheese because that’s taking it too far.

Header Image:  iStock

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