When it comes to black food culture, there really is something for everyone, says Eden Hagos, founder of the Black Foodie Blog.
The site runs a challenge that encourages people to try black cuisine and support a local black restaurant.
“Black food culture is very diverse,” Hagos told CBC News. “There’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for really spicy food, or you’re looking for something plant-based, or maybe you want to try something packed with protein.
“I think what I love most about most of the different black food cultures that I’ve been through is that it’s all very communal,” she said. “It involves a lot of love, and there is so much delicious food from across the African diaspora in Windsor.”
Hagos said the Black Foodie blog tries to make trying food as easy as possible.
“If you’re unfamiliar with this food, it can be intimidating,” she said. “You don’t know what’s on the menu. You might not be sure how it tastes.”
“I get a lot of comments like, ‘I can’t stand the heat’ and that’s great,” she said. “There are actually a lot of really tasty Ethiopian dishes that don’t contain a lot of pepper, so you can give some to your kids who might not be ready for that dose of spice.”
The blog, Hagos said, includes many tips and tricks to help people enjoy food.
This, she said, will help people who participate in the Black Foodie Challenge and place an order.
“We partnered with Skip the Dishes this month to give people lots of tips on how to bring home this truly amazing cultural dining experience,” she said. “We have home cooks and other influencers within the community, from Ghana, the Caribbean, Nigeria, Ethiopia, everywhere, sharing tips on how to eat their cultural food.
“That means everything from what to look for on the menu, how to read the menu, how to enjoy food at home, how to reheat it properly, like, you know, just like really practical, tangible advice so that people get the most out of their dining experience.”
While Hagos encourages people to support black-owned restaurants during Black History Month in February, the challenge will continue after that.
“I think the easiest way to support a black business is to eat at a really good black restaurant,” she said. “And I think it’s a lot of fun doing it. But it goes beyond Black History Month, because we create amazing dishes all year round.
“I think once you start committing to these restaurants, try it, and take some of that takeout home, you’ll see how amazing it is.”
The blog itself — located at blackfoodie.co as well as on Instagram — also includes recipes, restaurant guides in cities around the world, and a merchandise shop.
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to stories of success within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project that Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.