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Monday, August 31, 2009

Food Heritage

Starting this blog has gotten me thinking about where my passion for food and drink originates and how my personal journey may have lead to where I am today.  Recently, many of the older folks in my community have begun to pass on, folks that were my parents friends and family.  This too has caused me to consider our community impacts on me.
The above image is of the greenhouses from one of the flower nurseries that I grew up on.  We started out in the urban edge that has become so trendy now.  Back then it was just nursery and farm land.  I learned to grow and eat from a vegetable garden, to work the soil and enjoy hard work. A lot of what I enjoy in food, the fresh taste and multiple textures stems from this world.

The old main road, this road led from my grandmother's house to our house.  I can remember taking this back road from one nursery to the other, the men would gather and drink beers, the women would cook, we would all eat so well.  The cuisine was a mix of our Japanese heritage and our American birth right, ingredients melding from one culture to another.  Into this came the additional influences of the Italian and Portuguese neighbors, the Mexican and Central American influences of the laborers and the American Southern and American Black food traditions of our neighbors from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.  How else could you explain a dish like BBQ brisket over short grain rice with tsunemono on the side?

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