Food from home:your culinary heritage.

Is there a traditional dish from your home town or from your ansestors' land that you absolutely love or can't begin to describe how much you hate?



Louisa August 29, 2012
Pan fried chicken with pan gravy, watermelon rind pickles, spoonbread, tomato aspic, hot brown, country ham biscuits and no-sugar cornbread.
My grandfather would make pot liquor for a tasty snack, using the liquid left in the pot after cooking greens and then crumbling leftover cornbread into it.
No to the soup beans.
creamtea August 29, 2012
A really good, thick Pastrami sandwich on rye with mustard, half-sour pickle wedges on the side. Heaven.
Greenstuff August 28, 2012
mensaque, how timely given fiveandspice's great Norwegian feast that's being featured this week!
mensaque August 28, 2012
Thanks,everyone!Especially for sharing your family history...How else would I learn about the wily Gefüllte Nudeln(that sounds delicious,sinful or not) or fishy gelatin...or lemon jello on salad?!
J D. August 27, 2012
OH....I forgot! When my grandmother passed away, I received all of her cook books that go back many, many years. What is the deal with Southern women and congealed gelatin salad!! I found one yesterday for cubed chicken, mayo, celery, cottage cheese and lemon jello...seriously?!!! That's just terrible.
J D. August 27, 2012
Being from the South, I have to say I truly love a home grown tomato warm from the vine on locally sourced bacon, with lettuce, mayo and white bread. Also love pinto beans (properly seasoned), greens, cornbread (white, unsweetened), fried potatoes and adore fried chicken. The buttermilk bathed recipe here on Food52 is outstanding.
Dislikes--chitterlings, which just smell awful, and salmon croquettes. I would refuse to come in the house when my grandmother made them and would eat my PB&J on the back steps. I also abhor red velvet cake or spice cake of any sort.
Maedl August 27, 2012
Oops. I left out another favorite: Zwiebelkuchen. To make that, my grandmother fried onions until they are soft, then added them to an egg and cream custard with plenty of diced bacon. She poured the mixture over a rich yeast dough then baked it until golden. This dish also comes from Schwaben and goes hand-in-hand with a "Schoppen" (quarter liter portion) of Federweisse, the new wine, which is still cloudy, a bit spritzy and slightly sweet. When you begin to see Zwiebelkuchen and Federweisse on the menu, it is a sign that the autumn is about to begin.
Maedl August 27, 2012
Three generations back, my family came from Germany and I grew up with lots of traditional German foods. Christmas meant cookies, and a collaboration between my mother and grandmother on baking at least 15 varieties. My favorites were Lebkuchen, spicy with honey and nuts, and Springerle, flavored with anise oil and impressed with designs from my great-grandmother's Springerle rolling pin.

Holy Week brought gefüllte Nudeln, somewhat similar to ravioli. A layer of noodle dough was spread with a mixture of ground meat, onions, garlic, spinach and spring herbs. A dish from Schwaben, a region in southwestern Germany noted for its thrifty, wily people, it was considered fine to eat on fast days: God couldn't see the meat in it because it was covered in noodle dough.

Throughout the year my grandmother made a rich, eggy coffee cake topped with crisp, buttery crumbs. There was nothing like a slice of that about 10 am in the morning. She and my mom made sauerbraten, red cabbage and Spätzle, which they cut with a knife off the edge of a cutting board into a pot of boiling water. They were delicious the first day, but as leftovers, fried in fresh butter from the dairy, they were a gift from the gods. I also loved the smoked bratwurst from a small butcher shop in Hermann, Mo., and Grandma's sauerkraut, cooked with pork, onions and garlic and finished at the last moment with grated raw potatoes so it wouldn't be runny and thin.

Of course, there were a few things I wasn't too thrilled with. My grandmother was a firm believer in the nose to tail concept. She made kidneys, heart, brains, liver and pickled pigs feet. I couldn't get any of those things past my lips, but bless Grandma, she always made something extra for me so I wouldn't go hungry.

I have no doubt that these early experiences led to my love of food, my interest in how it is produced, and my fascination with its cultural connections.
petitbleu August 27, 2012
I'm a seventh (at least) generation southerner, an omnivore, and an open-minded eater. There are few things I really dislike, but canned meat grosses me out. I also dislike watermelon (please forgive me--I know this is heresy) for some reason even I can't fathom.
I love pimiento cheese (made right--not too mayonnaise-y and with extra sharp cheddar), red velvet cake, and classic buttermilk biscuits (if sausage gravy is around, that's okay too). I'm also a staunch believer in unsweetened cornbread. Sweet cornbread is cake.
sdebrango August 27, 2012
My family is Italian, my first few years were spent with a very large Italian extended family, we had Sunday dinner at my Grandfathers house every Sunday and my Mom and Aunts always cooked a huge meal with multiple courses. Home made pasta, mixed meat ragu, always started with chicken soup with escarole and home made noodles, a pasta dish, meat, salad, rarely did we have dessert, usually fruit and cheese were set out on the table after the meal. Friday's were always a big seafood feast. I still dislike calamari in red sauce, the way my Mom made it tasted too fishy for my taste. When we moved away from the whole Italian gang my Mom still made the Italian staples but threw in some other dishes like my least favorite liver and onions and one of my favorites meatloaf.
drbabs August 27, 2012
I'm from New Orleans and mostly love the indigenous food: shrimp, crabs, crawfish, red beans and rice, French bread, stuffed mirliton (like eggplant ), gumbo, jambalaya, etc. I don't care for oysters (heresy!). I also grew up in the 1960's and 70's and still hate a lot of the food: jello, canned vegetables, over cooked string beans, Salisbury steak, margarine instead of butter, fake orange juice.
the T. August 27, 2012
My parental units were part of the second wave of Slovene immigrants that arrived on the Iron Range of Minnesota after WW2 (the first wave were originally brought in by the mining Bosses about a hundred years ago as strikebreakers, though they themselves were in turn Organized).

Mom often made polenta, and nobody was more surprised than I was to find that corn mush is now something served in fancy-pants restaurants. She actually told me later that she hated polenta, because it reminded her of growing up poor on a Slovene farm. But it is a thing I really like and I do a jazzed up version topped with homemade red sauce and some nice pork shoulder. She also made soup with farina dumplings which I was quite fond of as well. My favorite thing though was potica- usually we had the kind made with ground walnuts, but once in a great while when she rendered hog fat she would take the cracklings and make crackling potica- which is just about the best thing to have with beef stew on a cold day.

Voted the Best Reply!

Diana B. August 26, 2012
Like kbckitchen, I'm from the South and if I never see a boiled peanut again, it will be too soon...

On the other hand, I have to have my "grits fix" once a week (real grits, not that instant stuff) and I love fried chicken inordinately.
kimot2ltd August 26, 2012
My grandparents were from Norway and my grandmother made a potato dumpling called a kumla or cumla and it was divine.
kbckitchen August 26, 2012
I'm from South Carolina and there are so many wonderful foods that I love and a few I detest. Starting with my favorites. My mama's cornbread. Made in a skillet with white corn meal and no eggs or sugar. Country ham and biscuits. A cocktail party staple!! Country fried steak and milk gravy. Greens!! Love them now. Hated them as a child.

Things I don't really like. Tomato aspic. Olive and egg sandwiches. Pimiento cheese with pimientos. I make mine with roasted peppers.

I could go on and on. Looking forward to reading others. Great topic!
mensaque August 26, 2012
I think I sounded kinda cocky not listing my dislikes,so here they go:up north in Brazil they make something I would never eat...Buchada de bode:something like a Haggis,the goat's stomach filled with other lovely things as it's liver,kidneys,fat and blood.At midwest,they eat a worm that lives on rotten wood in the mangrove forests.Down south they drink this bitter tea(hate all things bitter) from a shared cabalash that you must blow into from a straw so the tea're basic drinking everyone's saliva!Thank God I'm near Rio where food is less weird!
mensaque August 26, 2012
Sorry for the typo,I meant "ancestors".Maybe if mine were Anglo-Saxons,my English would be better!But at least I lucked out on the culinary heritage:I'm part Italian from my father's side and I looove pasta and all cheese based desserts.I'm part Spanish,part Argentine and part Syrian from my mother's side and I can't live without my tapas,or a good steak every now and then,or pretty much everything on Arab cuisine,and it's vast variety(redundant?)of choices makes Brazilian food almost impossible not to like...
Benny August 26, 2012
My Grand Parents on my Father's side are Norwegian. My Grandmother will prepare Lutefisk for my Grandfather every Thanksgiving. If you've never had it, you just won't know how disqusting it is. When prepared by my Grandmother, its basically a steamy pile of fish which has a consistency of loose Gelatin. It doesn't taste like much, but leaves an after-taste that stays for the rest of the day, even after brushing your teeth.

On the other hand, they also prepare a Norwegian flat bread called Lefse. Its made from potatoes and resembles a really thin tortilla. Spread some butter, sprinkle with a little sugar and roll it up. Its very tasty.
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