To commemorate Juneteenth, Black communities celebrate by having parades, going to festivals, hosting barbecues, and coming together in fellowship and prayer. Unlike July 4th where hot dog and hamburger is the customary food, of course, there’s a more cultural selection of food for Juneteenth.
Traditionally, Juneteenth was the day we were able to eat all the foods considered “luxuries”—things that enslaved people weren’t served or given to make meals out of. While traditional soul food (think collard greens, grilled meats) is eaten on Juneteenth, red foods also have a prominent role on the menu. Red velvet cakes (or cupcakes), hot links, watermelon, and some type of red punch always make an appearance.
Why red you may ask? Enslaved people who were freed celebrated by drinking red soda—yes, a luxury but also the color symbolizes and is the representation of the bloodshed and resilience of the enslaved.
Here are a few foods you might consider adding to your Juneteenth Holiday menu, many of them red, but all of them delicious.