Cultural Heritage and the Family Dinner Table

Longreads

What is lost when families are not involved in selecting the dishes they cook? For one thing, it means that they are not sharing food drawn from their own store of recipes, their heritage, or even regional specialties. I was born to an Indian father and a Chinese mother, but spent my childhood around the world because of my father’s job in the airline industry. The only time I really felt connected to my culture was at dinner every night, eating rice with chicken curry, fried noodles, vegetables in soy sauce, or coconut chutney with dosa (a kind of Indian crepe). My husband, for his part, felt a link to his Jewish heritage when he was eating his grandmother’s matzo ball soup, brisket, or Saturday-morning bagels and lox. If the two of us don’t move past the meal kits, there is a distinct possibility that many of our family’s food…

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