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Freelance journalist looking for food communities.

Anyone out there have a cultural tie to a specific dish or ingredient? I want to hear your foodie story!

asked by Evelyn Chapman 10 months ago
5 answers 534 views
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added 10 months ago

I actually have a real strong tie to this Chinese dish my grandmother used to make me. In the restaurants you can find it on the menu as Tomato Beef Pan Fried Noodles Tomato Beef Chow Mein. But the way my grandmother used to make it for me was the Tomato Beef over steamed Jasmine rice instead.

She lived five blocks down the road from us in the city. And San Francisco blocks are pretty short so after school or on weekends my brother and I would go there instead of home to wait for my mom. Whenever my grandmother would ask what we felt like eating, my response always trumped because I was the older sibling. My poor brother. In any case, my answer would always be Tomato Beef.

I'd be happy to tell you more about it through email if you'd like! :)

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added 10 months ago

I shared this recently on here, and thought you'd like to hear about it :

This is my great-grandmother’s recipe. I think it was passed down to her from her mother or grandmother, but this is how far back I've been able to trace it. When a recipe dates back almost 120 years, you know it’s special. The sense of nostalgia and comfort that this aromatic hot bowl of soup induces is soul satisfying in every sense of the term.

I very fondly remember spending my holidays at my great-grandmother’s colossal 12,000 sq ft single storey home which comprised of vast open spaces and courtyards, that during the summer months doubled as a drying pad for spices, chillies, and onions and as a playground of sorts for me and my cousins.

About the recipe..this is not like any chicken soup you've had. There are no carrots, leeks, or celery to form its base (I don’t think they even formed a part of India’s agricultural produce back then!) That was a time when everything they ate was grown in their own farms, or foraged in the surrounding fields. An era when families that owned land would sow their own paddy, harvest and mill it, before storing it until the next harvest season. Those that had a more bountiful crop would even gratuitously donate the excess to the farmers who tended their farmlands. Some – including my ancestors – even bred their own cows for the milk, and chickens and goats for their meat. A lot has changed since then, some good, some bad, but I get the sense that we may have missed out on the charm of a simpler life.

The spices in this soup – garlic, cumin, curry leaves, and peppercorns are fiery, but as with all recipes, you can add as much or little as you’d prefer. The soup itself is made with chicken pieces, but you could alternatively use only the bones which would still give you a rich stock. I can attest that this is just as delicious! I managed to save a bowlful which I eked out by adding rice into and making it a meal in itself. So good!

The recipes that were passed down through my great-grandmother have always been special to us, even more so after her passing. The curries that we make today still have the same blend of spices, the laddus the same proportion of ghee and sugar, and it’s obvious that our love for cooking hasn't skipped any generation in between. I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as I did growing up, and still do with my own family.

Link - http://www.theblurrylime...

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Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added 10 months ago

I would say that I have a long family connection to Spätzle and Springerle, and to food traditions from southern Germany in particular.

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added 10 months ago

Yes! My grandmother was born in Chiapas, Mexico (southeast coast of Mexico), while her parents were Jewish immigrants from Turkey, and she married an Ashkenazi Jew (my grandfather). So her Passover/Rosh Hashanah signature dish is a gefilte fish "a la veracruzana", which means a Veracruz-style tomatoes and red pepper sauce, that she combines with dried fruit. I love that she cooked a dish that my grandfather loved but she dressed it up with seasonings and a sauce from close to where she grew up and inspired by her middle eastern parents.