High on the Hog
By Martin Brown,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Food doc gives powerful new perspective on American history.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Positive messages about the importance of learning history, knowing where your food comes from, and healing from trauma.
Positive Role Models
Host Stephen Satterfield and his guests display knowledge, compassion, and understanding throughout. Many featured cooks and interviewees are Black.
Violence & Scariness
Slavery is a recurring topic, and there are graphic descriptions of abuse and violence toward enslaved people throughout the series.
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Products & Purchases
Features specific restaurants and chefs throughout the series, but no other consumerism is featured.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcohol is consumed and commented on as part of the meals throughout the show.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that High on the Hog is a food and travel documentary about the influence and impact of African and African-American cuisine in America. The series looks at food thoughtfully, from a historical and cultural perspective. Host Stephen Satterfield begins the series by traveling to Benin in West Africa, then visiting several places in the U.S. Each episode focuses on a different element of food, from West African dishes to how Thomas Jefferson's chef popularized macaroni and cheese. Slavery is a recurring topic, and there are graphic descriptions of abuse and violence toward enslaved people throughout the series. Alcohol is consumed and commented on as part of the meals throughout the show. More than a typical food tourism show, High on the Hog digs into the history of food, which can include violence and tragedy, and presents it in an accessible, illuminating, and compassionate way.
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High on the Hog
Based on 1 parent review
Culture, history and food!
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What's the Story?
Host Stephen Satterfield looks at how African-American cooking has had a profound impact on American food culture, and what emerges is an undertold history of America itself. This series looks at the complex relationship between wealth and cuisine, and how foods associated with fancy dining didn't always come from high society. The phrase "high on the hog" comes from food, the idea that those who ate the best meat, from the best parts of the pig, were those with wealth and privilege. So they were living, literally, high on the hog.
Is It Any Good?
Inspired by Dr. Jessica B. Harris's book of the same name, High on the Hog takes this idea to incredible heights, exploring food, culture, and American history in a way that is accessible, powerful, and often emotional. It begins like many food shows, by shopping for ingredients. The difference is that Harris and host Stephen Satterfield are in a market in the country of Benin in West Africa, pointing out how yams are not the same thing as sweet potatoes. Then, patiently, the series expands into a rich mosaic of food and culture that traces American food culture back to the Atlantic slave trade. That may sound daunting, and Satterfield and his guests are certainly not afraid to discuss the traumatic realities of slavery that continue to impact nearly every aspect of American culture, but the focus always comes back to the food. Through something as seemingly benign as, for example, eating mac 'n cheese, High on the Hog uses compelling, compassionate storytelling to give viewers a deeper understanding of American history.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about food. What foods do they cover in High on the Hog? Which of those foods do you eat? What did you learn about the history of those foods? Did any of it surprise you?
Why is it important to learn about the history of food? Does it change what or how you eat? What are some parts of High on the Hog that gave you a new perspective on cuisine? Did it make you want to try any new foods?
What are the ways that the history of American food dovetails with Black history? Why do the people featured in High on the Hog feel that cooking is important?
- Premiere date: May 26, 2021
- Cast: Stephen Satterfield
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Activism, Cooking and Baking, History
- TV rating: TV-14
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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