Learn About The History of Rice in the South Carolina Lowcountry with Anthony Bourdain (Video)

See how rice forms the foundation of the state's economy.

Anthony Bourdain: author, chef, drunk tweeter…historian?

On a recent episode of PBS’s Mind of a Chef, Bourdain narrated an animated short on the history of rice in South Carolina. The episode, entitled “Rice” dug into the history of the delicious, nutritious grain. The video is beautifully drawn using a relaxed cartoonish style and jazzy piano music.

Mind of a Chef, now in its second season, follows Chefs Sean Brock and April Bloomfield as they explore cooking, history, and more. Bourdain, who serves as both executive producer and narrator, is the brains behind the show. Mind of a Chef airs Saturdays at 7pm ET on PBS.

Watch the video to see where Uncle Ben’s really comes from.

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  • Josh

    This video is the latest iteration of white chefs (Bourdain, Sean Brock et al) continually appropriating the legacy of African American food cultures while simultaneously sweeping the painful implications of those legacies–i.e. the enslavement of African peoples–under the carpet. Brock heads to Africa to “rediscover” and preserve the roots of southern low country cuisine while Bourdain is made out to be an authority and historian on the subject. Meanwhile, authentic voices emanating from actual African American communities who carry the traditions of these foods are never considered. Brock and Bourdain come off as being pampered, naive and foolish. Slaves didn’t just dematerialize as this video suggests. The history of those lineages are irreparably bound up in the history of the cuisine, which includes rice. It’s time white folks, in the midst of their “transcendent” hot chicken odysseys and food tourism, took notice.

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