Quick: When you think of Italy or China or Mexico, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. For many of us, it’s food. Food is such an important way to be exposed to different cultures. It’s an experience that can be shared by people from different parts of the world and from different walks of life. Even if you don’t enjoy a certain dish or cuisine, food serves to humanize people from foreign cultures.
Today, I planned to go to an event called YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City. 10 restaurants from Somerville – all run by immigrants – sampled their fare. Proceeds went to the Welcome Project, which provides education and advocacy to Somerville’s immigrant community. There restaurants from Portugal to Italy to Ethiopia to India to Nepal to Japan to Mexico – four continents. When we arrived, they were at capacity, unfortunately, so we couldn’t get in. That’s great, for them!
So today, I instead donated to a Kickstarter project called Eat Offbeat: The Cookbook. It’s a cookbook featuring recipes and stories by refugees now working as chefs in New York City. Because immigrants who bring their cuisine to America are a delicious form of diplomacy and cultural awareness.