"When we don’t know the words to say how we feel, we turn to food to say it for us." Recipes from the Chinese diaspora in the U.S. South.
Vietnam, 1953: the last of the rain/ has settled. a rainbow/ begins to form as i/ go out to grab some/ groceries. the produce/ man smiles and waves/ as i head home./ metal against wood./ burning embers./ boiling broth./ and just like that:/ dinner is served.
Zhajiangmian is a dish that is at the core of Beijing culture and of three generations of women in my family.
"I have felt within Venezuela throughout my entire life while spending all of my twenty outside of it. In an attempt to finally understand what happened to the beautiful country in my mother’s stories, I begin to ask questions and start memorizing her recipes."
“Ayo, Big Tree. What’s on the menu for tonight?” one onlooker asks. “Just some fish and macaroni with cheese,” Big Tree replies. “Nothing special.” The onlooker’s face is full of skepticism. Everybody knows that everything Big Tree cooks tastes special.
"Sometimes I feel like an ex-pat in my own nation,/ and an outsider among my own people until I remember/ Grandpa’s hands teaching me to scour banks for mudbugs/ to be eaten at dinner, like he did as a kid."
"These recipes [in my family cookbook]are a far cry both from how I understand Jewish, and how I understand Southern."