Watch the video to hear first, second and third Windrush generation Leeds residents discussing the role of food in their culture and the of culinary traditions in their lives.

The Windrush Generation and Food

The Windrush Generation did not only contribute to the economy and culture of Britain, but also to British food. They brought recipes from the Caribbean with them and created spaces to celebrate their culture with food. Caribbean food uses ingredients such as rice, plantain, beans, coconut, cassava, meat and a wide range of spices. Recipes will vary from family to family and food is an important part of life. The Windrush Generation were highly influential in increasing the popularity of Caribbean food in the UK.


Sorrel and black cake are popular throughout the Caribbean as well Black British communities across the UK.

Sorrel is a traditional Christmas beverage. Dried hibiscus flowers — known as sorrel in Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean – are steeped in boiling water along with ginger and other whole spices such as allspice, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. It is traditionally sweetened with sugar, and rum can be added.

Black cake is a dense, richly spiced fruit cake popular across the Caribbean. Dried fruit is soaked in rum before being mixed into a dark, sweet fruit cake batter. As with all Caribbean cooking, everyone has a slightly different recipe for this cake!

Download the recipes!

Download the recipes for sorrel and black cake and have a go at making them. Remember to share any photos on social media and tag @thegcfoundation! While you make them think about these questions:

  • Where do most of the ingredients to make the cake come from?
  • What does the cake smell like as it is being made?  How about once it is cooked?  What does the smell remind you of and why?
  • Are there any foods or drinks that are particularly important to your culture?
  • What roles do food and drink play in different cultures, and what is their role in promoting cultural diversity (think about what your town or city would be like without any foreign food restaurants)?

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