Pot liquor, sometimes spelled potlikker[1] or pot likker,[2] is the liquid that is left behind after boiling greens (collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens) or beans. It is sometimes seasoned with salt and pepper, smoked pork or smoked turkey. Pot liquor contains high amounts of essential vitamins and minerals including iron, vitamin A and vitamin C. Especially important is that it contains high amounts of vitamin K, which aids in blood clotting. Another term is collard liquor.

Pot liquor
Boiling collard greens
Alternative namespotlikker, collard liquor
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateSouthern United States
Main ingredientsLiquid from boiling greens (collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens); sometimes salt, smoked pork or smoked turkey

Background edit

Former governor and U.S. senator Zell Miller of Georgia wrote a defense of the traditional spelling "potlikker" in The New York Times.[1]

Much earlier, in his autobiography, Every Man a King, governor and U.S. senator Huey Pierce Long, Jr., of Louisiana, defined "potlikker", a favorite of his country political supporters, as

the juice that remains in a pot after greens or other vegetables are boiled with proper seasoning. The best seasoning is a piece of salt fat pork, commonly referred to as "dry salt meat" or "side meat". If a pot be partly filled with well-cleaned turnip greens and turnips (which should be cut up), with a half-pound piece of the salt pork and then with water and boiled until the greens and turnips are cooked reasonably tender, then the juice remaining in the pot is the delicious, invigorating, soul-and-body sustaining potlikker ... which should be taken as any other soup and the greens eaten as any other food. ...

[Long continued] Most people crumble cornpone (corn meal mixed with a little salt and water, made into a pattie and baked until it is hard) into the potlikker.[3]

The practice of consuming potlikker was commonly employed by slaves in the United States to concentrate nutrients from vegetables.[4]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Pot Liquor or Potlikker?". The New York Times. 23 February 1982. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  2. ^ Covey, Herbert C.; Dwight Eisnach (2009). What the slaves ate: recollections of African American foods and foodways from the slave narratives. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-313-37497-5.
  3. ^ Huey Pierce Long, Jr., Every Man a King: The Autobiography of Huey P. Long (New Orleans: National Book Club, Inc., 1933), pp. 200-201.
  4. ^ Bower, Anne (2007). African American Foodways Explorations of History & Culture. University of Illinois Press. p. 48. ISBN 9780252031854.