The Cooking Gene Spice Collection (Pre-Order)

$39.96 $32.99

West African Heritage Mix: Ayuba Ibn Sulayman and Duchess Quamino (Pre-Order)

Out of stock

Hercules and Hemmings Kitchen Pepper (Pre-Order)

Out of stock

Mr. Wesley Jones Antebellum BBQ Spice (Pre-Order)

Out of stock

Hazel C. Todd Chicken Seasoning (Pre-Order)

Out of stock

In stock


Since the 16th century, people of African descent have shaped and defined the American palate. Their greatest impact on that palate is in the flavors we brought in our taste memory as a people in exile.  Africans and their descendants, through many challenges and trials, have had an exuberant cultural expression based on taking pleasure in a culture created out of many origins; rooted in honoring ancient traditions, a dynamic sense of improvisation, and a creative fire that transformed the best and the worst in a cultural alloy unmatched. It is my pleasure to introduce Black joy in a bottle, a spice collection based on the journeys of my Ancestors, from Africa to America, The Cooking Gene Spice collection. Each spice mixture represents a different stage in the historical journey of African American foodways and honors the lives of Black men and women who signify the flavors of each point in time.  All of the people honored here passed on outside of the status of being in bondage.  

This collection includes the following salt free spice blends:

  1. Ayuba Ibn Sulayman and Duchess Quamino West African Heritage Mix
  2. Hercules and Hemmings Kitchen Pepper
  3. Mr. Wesley Jones Antebellum BBQ Spice
  4. Hazel C. Todd Chicken Seasoning

We sold out of our initial round of pre-orders in the first two days! Luckily, we have more on the way that will ship April 2021.

About Michael W. Twitty

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Michael W. Twitty is a culinary historian and food writer from the Washington D.C. area. He blogs at He’s appeared on Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern, Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates and most recently Taste the Nation with Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi. HarperCollins released Twitty’s The Cooking Gene, in 2017, tracing his ancestry through food from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom, a finalist for The Kirkus Prize and The Art of Eating Prize and a third place winner of Barnes&Noble’s Discover New Writer’s Awards in Nonfiction. THE COOKING GENE WON the 2018 James Beard Award for best writing as well as book of the year, making him the first Black author so awarded. his piece on visiting Ghana in Bon Appetit was included in Best Food Writing in 2019 and was nominated for a 2019 James Beard Award. His next book, Rice will be out with UNC press in 2021. Koshersoul, his follow up to The Cooking Gene, will be out in 2022 through HarperCollins.