Writing About Fried Fish, With a Side of History

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When I read “Soul,” a cookbook by the chef Todd Richards released earlier this year, I saw many similarities between the meals Mr. Richards enjoyed with his family and some of my favorite meals from my own childhood. Mr. Richards grew up in Chicago, and I grew up in Maryland and Virginia, but the foods that we ate were connected by our shared black heritage and the influence of the African diaspora.

I’m now a writer who focuses on food, and I’m always on the lookout for inspiration for my next piece. So when I read the chapter in Mr. Richards’s book about fish fries, I was hooked — and ended up writing about them for the Dining section. Mr. Richards shared his…

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