Use Food to Get to Know Your Roots
For many of us, our roots are hidden in the folds of our history, our childhood homes, and the stories passed down from generation to generation. The foods we grew up eating don’t always have to be left behind when we head out into the world to explore new places and new people. The word “culinary” has come to mean so much more than simply preparing delicious meals. What it means to be a chef, a cook, and an artisan. These are careers that explore the art of feeding people, and that’s no surprise when you think about how much we as a people love to eat and how important our traditions are to us. If you’re curious about getting to know roots of your own family and want to try new things, here are some of the best ways you can reconnect with your roots.
Learn the recipes of your family
It’s always fun to try new recipes and learn the traditions of another family, but there’s something special about learning the recipes, traditions, and stories of your family. It can be from healthy homemade sauces to soups. Even if you’re not particularly interested in being a chef or earning a culinary degree, knowing the recipes, methods, and ingredients that went into your family’s meals can help you understand the culture and history of your family. Your family’s meals might have a different history than your own, which can show you just how different cultures are all over the world. Start by asking family members for old recipes, but if you can’t find them, do your own research and tweak them to feel more like home. Try traditional things like fresh pasta or beef goulash.
Grow some of your food
If you have the opportunity to grow some of your own food, you might find yourself with a new connection to your roots. You might not have access to the land where your family’s traditional crops were grown, but you can still grow them at home. Growing your own food gives you a way to connect with your roots and build a skill for the future. Growing food can also give you the sense of accomplishment you might not get from working an income-generating job. Look into community gardens if your home or apartment doesn’t have the necessary space.
Eat at a restaurant that features local ingredients
Eating at a restaurant that features local ingredients can allow you to try out new recipes and know your roots. The restaurant might not be the type that serves family-style meals, but it might serve the type of food you grew up eating. You might also get the opportunity to learn more about the region where the restaurant is located or the food that is grown there.
As you can see, reconnecting with your roots doesn’t have to be hard or discouraging. In fact, it should be a joyful rediscovery of your family, your past, and your home. Food is a truly unifying phenomenon. Cooking the same meals your grandmother ate in her childhood can bring you the same experience she felt at that moment.