The history of the food in the African American community dates back to slavery. Denied the more healthful cuts of meat enjoyed by slave masters and their families, African-American slaves could either eat what was discarded or perish from hunger. Pork chitterlings were considered cast-offs, but creative slave chefs found a way to make them edible. Pork chitterlings are now considered an African American heritage food which has been enjoyed by families for centuries.
Shauna Anderson turned her love of home-cooked food into a thriving business with the Chitlin Market of Hyattsville, Maryland, which opened in 1995. Memorabilia and documents from her restaurant preserve the history and role of this food as part of the African-American experience.