A Tale of Two Bacon and Cornbread Dishes

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A recent controversy over a hanging bacon dish at Fitzwater Cafe in Philadelphia raises broader questions about the history, ownership, and cultural significance of Black American cuisine. The dispute began when Eater Philly’s food editor, Ernest Owens, accused the cafe of plagiarizing a similar dish from nearby Black-owned restaurant, Bake’n Bacon. Fitzwater Cafe responded by claiming that hanging bacon was not an original idea and had been featured on menus across the country. However, Owens and others pointed out that the addition of cornbread, a staple of Black American cuisine, was unique to Bake’n Bacon. The incident has sparked conversation around the cultural appropriation of food and the history of Black resilience and ingenuity in American culinary traditions.

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