I do like a lot of Soul Food, but then I’ve been a Fried Chicken Fan since before I ever tried to cook anything But strangely that’s not where I first encountered it. Believe it or not it was in a movie. A movie that I still think of as one of my all time favourites, The Blues Brothers.
It’s hard to believe that it’s 30 years old this year! I can’t have been 10 years old the first time I saw this and it’s stuck with me all these years. The Soul Food Cafe sequence was my introduction to both Soul music and food. The great John Lee Hooker set the tone, playing in the middle of a street market, something about that smouldering Blues just grabbed my ear while my eyes were caught by the cafe in the background.
Once the brothers entered and ordered their “4 fried chickens and a coke” and “some dry white toast” from the waitress (none other than the great Aretha Franklin), a ‘domestic’ ensues culminating in what can only be described as a spine tingling, hair on the back of your neck standing on end, performance of a truly epic song…
While the music blew me away, I was curious as to what Soul Food was and it took a while (there was no internet back then) but I found the closest thing available in Ireland at the time was what we now call KFC. Imagine my disappointment when I walked in for the first time – where was the band? and why couldn’t I have 4 fried chickens?