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Trying to tell the difference between Southern food and Soul Food can be complicated. While not all Southern food is considered soul food, all soul food is Southern. Some of the soul food staples are beans, greens, fried chicken, pork, and more. Soul food is an ethnic cuisine traditionally prepared and eaten by African-Americans in the South. The expression "soul food" originated in the mid-1960s, when "soul" was a common word used to describe African-American culture. The definition of soul food changed over time but as long as the food comes from the heart it is good for the soul.