Butter pecan ice cream has a rich history with references to Black community and Jim Crow laws for African-Americans.
Most of the popular food recipes have some history attached to them. This history elevates the importance of food, from being merely something to eat to something to relish, as it signifies the hardships that went into it. Therefore, @nikki.mov, in her recent clip, attempted to cover the legacy behind many of the popular food items enjoyed by people. A video made by Jenkins regarding butter pecan ice cream went viral. In the video, Jenkins described in detail how butter pecan ice cream became a product using which African Americans dealt with racist behavior because of the Jim Crow laws.
Jenkins explained in the video, “While it was never officially a law, just as many other racist practices were accepted but never codified into law, there are countless anecdotal stories from Black people passed down from generation to generation that they, or a friend or family member, had been denied the right to purchase vanilla ice cream or that they’d experienced violence when caught eating vanilla ice cream."
Jenkins further said that in the mid-1800s, a slave with the name Antoine formulated a grafting technique. This technique's objective was to propagate pecan trees. The propagation would allow pecan trees to be cultivated as a commercial crop. The accessibility and ease with which butter pecan ice cream was made after the cultivation, led to it becoming a popular flavor for African Americans. The legacy of the butter pecan ice cream is well-known in the community. Darryl Goodner, a Louisville ice cream shop owner, inspired by the history of butter pecan ice cream, started a podcast named Butter Pecan Podcast. In this podcast, he and his co-host discuss the connection that exists between systemic racism and food. In his interview with Daily Dot, he said, “There is always an undercurrent of racism even in the most seemingly benign issues like ice cream. Butter pecan is indicative of a lot of things about Black people as a culture: when you don’t have this option, you figure out the other one.”
Robin Caldwell, in her article, discusses with members of the Culinary Cousins Grits Club their memories about butter pecan ice cream. One of the contributors in that article, Michelle Roberts of Dr. Shell’s Soul Food Cooking, reminisced about her own memories regarding the ice cream and said, “My grandmother in Jacksonville (Florida) had a pecan tree on her property, and when I’d visit she’d make butter pecan ice cream from scratch.”
The comment section was impressed by the video and shared their own takes. @blackwightrider came to a realization through this video and commented, "This was the only ice cream my mom ate consistently. Now I know why." @noname828293754 learned a valuable lesson through the video and wrote, "Really? I love this flavor. I was clueless about the history. Thanks for sharing." @jensligermelchor was emotional by this history lesson and commented. "This history lesson hurts my heart, but thank you for sharing and educating!" @mdnitemisery thanked Jenkins and made the comment, "I always felt butter pecan was superior, but I will now have a new appreciation when I enjoy it, thank you so much for this knowledge!"