African Heritage & Health Week

If you’ve never tried an authentic African heritage meal from Africa, the Caribbean, South America, or the American South before, then African Heritage & Health Week on February 1–7 is the perfect time to discover why its savory flavors and naturally healthy features make African Heritage Cuisine the next big food trend.  

To commemorate Black History Month, Oldways is challenging everyone, everywhere to enjoy at least one dish, at home or at a local restaurant, that is inspired by the cuisines of African-American ancestors and Oldways’ African Heritage Diet Pyramid. By preparing an Oldways African Heritage recipe or venturing out to a new restaurant, you can:  

  • Dance your way through the spices, textures, and aromas of West African stews, Jollof rice, golden black-eyed pea fritters, and traditional fufu—a pleasing starchy vegetable mash that’s so thick, you use it like a roll or bread for dipping!    

  • Or head further east and eat with your hands! Ethiopian restaurants are gaining much acclaim and popularity, even without silverware—these flavorful dishes are enjoyed with a special bread called Injera that you use as your spoon. 

  • Escape to the savory, tropical comfort foods of the Caribbean and Latin America, or the bright spices, smoked fish, and banana dishes of South America. 

  • Or rediscover the early farm-to-table cuisines of African American ancestors.

To help diners explore, Oldways has created a new African Heritage Dine Around Town webpage that offers African heritage dining destinations across the nation, from pop-up shops to fine dining restaurants.

Cooling class visits Ethiopian restaurant
A Taste of African Heritage cooking class visits Alem Ethiopian Village, an Ethiopian restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

If a meal at home shared with family and friends is more appealing, Oldways suggests its own recipe for Jollof Rice as an option. This is a traditional African rice dish that is delicious and healthy, and very budget friendly. You can find plenty of other recipes on the Plates of Expressions page.  

The foods that have sustained cultures are an important part of history. What better time to dedicate a week to African Heritage and Health than during Black History Month?

For more information on participating in African Heritage & Health Week, please contact Sarah McMackin, Oldways program manager, 512-330-0111,

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