Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What Traditional Ethnic Foods Do You Love?

My background is English- VERY English. My grandmother was the cook in our family. She made the foods that her mother and grandmother taught her to make. My grandmother never thought of them as "traditional" or "ethnic". She didn't know that the bread pudding she made was distinctly from the south of England or that her Yorkshire puddings came from a very authentic recipe. She never once questioned why we eat potatoes and squash at Thanksgiving (because that was all of the fresh food available to early North American settlers) or that our family always ate ham at Easter because that was when the curing process was completed.

I think about these things frequently. Each of us has our own traditional foodways that may be buried deeply under two generations of convenience food and drive-throughs but are still there, waiting to be shared with our children and grandchildren.

What do you know about your family's food history? Do you have recipes scribbled down by your grandmother that are in danger of being lost? Was there something special about the way your mother formed pirogies or layered baklava? Be sure to write these snippets of history down so that they are not lost forever. The more we understand and embrace our food history, the less likely it will be that our children eat nothing but frozen pizzas and McDonald's.