(Photo by Renee Lynn Frojo)
As many of you know I have a mixed family – mixed religions, mixed races, mixed cultures. Personally I love it. One of the areas that I find to be wonderfully malleable is FOOD. There are so many opportunities to blend cuisines between traditions!
I read this beautiful email from Kristin Eriko Posner whose website, nourish-co.com, blends her Japanese heritage with her Jewish life. She too finds food to be a bridge between her identities.
…if you haven’t already heard about Lunar: The Jewish-Asian Film project, head over to their page to see the first film about food (“The Taste of Connection”). I was interviewed for the project in Be’chol Lashon. For me, food is how I connect with the past, present, and future. I recently heard May Ye of Min Hameitzar speak, and had a lightbulb moment. I realized that my weaving together of Japanese and Jewish cuisine and design is actually how I affirm that my two identities are not separate, but one. This powerful act has guided my healing and is helping me to become more whole, especially when my belonging is constantly in question. I hope my work inspires you to do the same– our world needs more healed and whole people.
Another piece of my own healing this past year has been in Asian American, Jew of color, and Jewish-Japanese (virtual) spaces. For the past year, I’ve been part of an incredibly enriching global Jewish and Japanese diaspora community that meets once a month online. It’s called Jewpanese Family Call. If you and/or your family identifies with being Jewish and Japanese, respond to this email and I’ll invite you to the group!
You can email Kristin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now you may be thinking, that’s all fine but it’s not really Jewish; it’s not really KOSHER. Jews don’t eat “foreign foods”. But not so! I fell in love with the cookbook series Kosher by Design when I found a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala in one of Susie Fishbein’s books. Wherever Jews have gone we have adapted to the local cuisine. As a rabbi friend of mine likes to say, “It’s all good!”
My Black Jewish niece likes vegan soul food. My Mexican daughter-in-law makes kosher burritos. Kristin makes mochi sufganiyot. My friend whose family is Filipino makes all sorts of Filipino dishes like Torta, Lumpia and Pancit. Her daughters know the cuisine of their father and grandparents.
So let yourself go! Do send me the recipes you have adapted, loved, shared, modified, etc. at email@example.com.