HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

What is your absolute favorite dish from your cultural heritage?

I always love sampling food from other cultures. One sweet. One savory. :)

edit: Just to clarify, cultural heritage refers to your ethnicity. (e.g. You could be born and raised in the U.S. but your ancestors are from Argentina)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
    1. re: rasputina

      I'm sorry I'm not sure what heritage is responsible for chocolate cake? Lol

      1. re: rasputina

        so sorry for typos. at work.on phone

      2. Steak and kidney pudding.
        Plum crumble and custard.

        1. Whiskey and beer. I'm Irish and German :)

          Jk. My family never really made traditional dishes from either side. So I'm going to say tri tip. I grew up in Central CA and that's what we had at every special occasion growing up, cooked low and slow by my dad on the Weber.

          1 Reply
          1. re: juliejulez

            Santa Maria bbq, yum! I loves me some tri-tip.

          2. Since I am three different kinds of American Indian and five different nationalities to boot. This is a tough one. Caldo Verde or aka Portuguese kale soup and Indian fry bread

            2 Replies
            1. re: suzigirl

              I got a big kick out of them selling caldo verde in the McDonald's in Portugal. :)

            2. I'm a So Cal rat (San Diego born and raised) and darned if I don't still love citrus. And avocado. Tastes best if you are still kind of salty and slightly sunburned after surfing all day.

              1. Being an American, I'd have to say macaroni and cheese.

                29 Replies
                1. re: 1POINT21GW

                  You must be some type of ethnicity. Unless you're Native American, your ancestors must have immigrated here from some place.

                  1. re: JenniferLopez

                    Even "Native American" ancestors immigrated here from some place.

                    1. re: MGZ

                      i think after 30k years of habitation, we can safely say native peoples are in fact native peoples. otherwise no one, no state can claim any sort of legitimate heritage or physical border.

                      1. re: zed1984

                        "[II]think after 30k years of habitation, we can safely say native peoples are in fact native peoples. otherwise no one, no state can claim any sort of legitimate heritage or physical border."

                        Yeah, the Europeans who came here had a great deal of respect for the legitimacy of the "states" and "borders" established over Thirty thousand years.

                        1. re: MGZ

                          they absolutely didn't, but of course that doesn't mean that the original people of turtle island do not deserve recognition and respect for being the original inhabitants, having established many distinct civilizations and modes of governance. there are thousands of diverse ethno-linguistic and cultural groups each with their own conception of how they became on turtle island. you stated that they were 'immigrants,' but immigration is a more contemporary phenomenon that does not take into account the viable histories and ethnogenesis of native peoples- their 'context.' and neither reflects their distinct cultural modes and the interrelationships of linguistic and cultural groups. to imply they are 'immigrants' to a land they have inhabitated for many millenia- i find personally quite offensive.

                        2. re: zed1984

                          Note: this excludes the Japanese from their own country. ;-)

                          1. re: zed1984

                            How about 3,500 years in Israel? Long enough? Who has a better claim?

                            1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                              The native Americans on west coast have been around over 10,000 years.

                        3. re: JenniferLopez

                          Technically, Native Americans are the first immigrants.

                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                            I don't think Martha Stewart's "Landbridge Cookbook" is out yet though. I'm guessing fish and sea creatures figured heavily?

                          2. re: JenniferLopez

                            My Mom used to say 'I didn't think we were ethnic, I thought we were just normal!' WASPs are ethnically challenged, especially about food. I suppose the roast beef of Olde England would qualify.

                            1. re: JenniferLopez

                              My ancestors are from America.

                              How far back are you wanting to go? If you go back far enough, there are no native Germans, no native Italians, no native Mexicans, etc..

                              1. re: JenniferLopez

                                I know for me, on my dad's side, they all came in the mid 1800s... germans and scots irish. Any "family recipes" that came with them are long gone by now.

                                As for my mom's side, her grandfather came from Ireland when he was a teenager, alone and without his parents, so he didn't exactly bring along recipes from Ireland. So there are many of us out there who do not have "cultural heritage" dishes that were passed down.

                                1. re: JenniferLopez

                                  Guess what? even "NATIVE" American Indians came over on the early boats or land bridges

                                  1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                    So abiogenesis could only (supposedly) happen in one specific place on Earth?

                                    1. re: PotatoHouse

                                      Abiogenesis, huh? Too early in the day, I guess. Gave me a headache in the first few paragraphs. Maybe later....

                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

                                      1. re: grampart

                                        I suppose at some point you have to make a cut-off as to who/what is "original" .but I'll leave that to bigger theorists than myself

                                        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                          Folks, this debate about what constitutes an ethnicity and who immigrated where is really getting off-topic for Chowhound. Could we just let people identify their cultural heritage however they wish and get back to discussing food, please? Thanks!

                                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                            Thank you. It's amazing how a well-meaning comfort-oriented thread can devolve.

                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                Turtle Island?....You mean turtles were the first? Did they serve Turtle Soup? Were they cannibals? In short, lighten up ppl and get back to the food at hand

                                              2. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                Ah come on! This isn't some kind of kosher requirement that you are enforcing. Don't be determined to make the board boring. Saving a life justifies even breaking the Sabbath.
                                                Nobody is better off if you swaddle the discussion.

                                                    1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                      Then, Vinnie, you should get it and not take it so lightly.

                                      2. re: JenniferLopez

                                        1point sees him/herself as American. That's perfectly legitimate. To what degree could you relate to what some of your ancestors ate 5-9 generations ago (depending how long ago they immigrated). Their culture/food is not really yours.

                                        1. re: Wawsanham

                                          I agree. I you're more than3-4 generations removed from your immigrant ancestors, it's kind of silly to consider yourself in that ethnic group. Folks in that category would likely not even recognize some of their favorite dishes prepared in "native" fashion.

                                          Actually, American-Italian food is a damned good example of that.

                                      3. re: 1POINT21GW

                                        Hey, we did enjoy that too, right across the US border, in Mississippi. We considered it as a vegetable!

                                        Hunt

                                      4. Toast and marmite.
                                        Pork pies.
                                        Sausage rolls at Christmas.
                                        Trifle.

                                        4 Replies
                                          1. re: justlizikaria

                                            Or British. All classics in our shared culture.

                                            1. re: justlizikaria

                                              Popular throughout parts of SoPac where Kiwis and Aussies spend time.

                                              1. re: justlizikaria

                                                No. More likely if vegemite rather than marmite. Pork is expensive and not so common , particularly in pies.
                                                I think.

                                            2. The dishes that qualify all come from my 100% Norwegian mother. Savory would have to be the meatballs and sweet is a 3-way tie with Norwegian pancakes (a sweet crepe), julekake (a Christmas bread), and krumkake (a kind of waffle cookie-see photo). My list of least favorite would be considerably longer.

                                               
                                              14 Replies
                                              1. re: grampart

                                                From 3rd generation Norwegian-American:
                                                I was intrigued by the title of the thread, and started running through my taste-bud memories of any Norwegian dishes or goodies that stood out. None jumped out. Then I saw the picture that grampart posted of krumkakes! I had not gotten to them yet in my taste-bud memory game, but when I saw the picture, I immediately started salivating! So, grampart beat the rest of us to represent the Norse bunch on the boards, and grampart, I salute you. We make Norwegian pancakes, the thin roll-up kind, every few weekends, but we have not taken the time to make krumkake in a few years. We really should. (P.S. I love my Scandinavian heritage, hate hyphenated ethnic labels, but for the purposes of this kind of thread, the hyphen approach works OK.)

                                                1. re: Florida Hound

                                                  Thanks for the "salute" my fellow squarehead! I think it's wonderful that you still make the Norske pannkaka so regularly. So, how does your family eat them? We used to use butter & sugar, a variety of jams/preserves, or fresh blueberries mixed right in the batter. I remember my Gramma Olsen (all 4'10" of her) standing at the stove working 3 or 4 cast iron pans at the same time and keeping track of whose turn it was to get the big one next. She also was the source for the Julekaka, krumkake, and other cookies that I can't come up with the names of right now.
                                                  Do you have the iron for making krumkake? I'm thinking of buying this electric one from Amazon. Good reviews and the price isn't too bad.
                                                  http://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-83...
                                                  Do you remember a type of bread that I think was called gristle (?) bread. Nice crust and maybe a mix of wheat and light rye. We always ate it with Nokkelost cheese. I've been looking for a recipe for many years to no avail. We used to get it in a little Scandinavian deli in Eltingville on Staten Island called Tryon's and, once about 30 years ago, at Altamonte Mall in Florida.
                                                  Where did you grow up? My mother lived there in Staten Island and it seems there was quite a large Norwegian community centered around the Lutheran (of course) Church. That was a long time ago, but my mother (now 93 and still driving) can still tell great stories of her life back then.

                                                  1. re: grampart

                                                    > Another "cultural heritage favorite," to keep with the OP's request: fattigmann, a Christmas fried dough cookie that is tied in a bow shape. Sometimes rolled in powdered sugar, sometimes not.

                                                    > The family roots are in Mandal, Norway, and we had many relatives or somehow-as-close-as-family in Brooklyn. My non-Norwegian mother (Welsh?) is the one from Staten Island. Our little part of the Norwegian immigration ended up in Westchester County, NY in the early 30s, if I have the story right. (Fast forward to the 1980s and I can say I have done my share of shopping at the Altamonte Mall, too.)
                                                    By the way, the last time we traveled up to your Georgia neighborhood, the Old Sautee Store wasn't nearly as Scandinavian-themed as years ago.

                                                    > We sometimes add a little lemon juice to the thin pancakes, sometimes cover them with whipped cream and grenadine (which the old folks would have called 'saft.') My wife loves the spoon on the lingonberries. Roll 'em up! or maybe butter, roll 'em and top with powdered sugar? And it has always been fun to initiate weekend guests to the whole roll- 'em- up technique.

                                                    > Krumkage Iron- looks good, and all the reviews I read seemed positive. We have the non-electric over-the-burner variety, and one of the reviewers wrote that the electric kind takes the guess-work out (re: time) and stops the tendency for the baker to burn fingers. I am puzzled- I love "modern conveniences" but never had a trouble with either guess work or burnt fingers. But maybe we would make krumkaker more often if we plugged in!

                                                    > I checked our collection of Norwegian cookcooks and didn't find anything close to gristle brod. So sorry. I ran across several wheat breads and rye breads.

                                                    > Grampart strikes again- with the mention of nokkelost! Mmmm, Good stuff! My favorite Norwegian cheese is the brown block Gjetost.

                                                    > And God's blessings on your mama- 93 and going strong! Wonderful.

                                                    1. re: Florida Hound

                                                      Yes. Gjetost and hardtack. Rollmops (Swedish pancakes filled with fresh fruit and whipped cream). Creamed salt cod over boiled potatoes on Christmas Eve, which is so much tastier than it sounds. Potato sausage (drool). Smoked Chubb. Cardamom coffee. Gravlax. Glug. Yellow pea soup. Pickled herring with sour cream. Nordic soul food.

                                                      1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                        How interesting that rollmops in Sweden is a sweet dish.

                                                        In Germany, it's usually a slice of pickled herring wrapped around a bit of pickle & pepper, all tacked together with a tiny toothpick.

                                                        Perfect hangover food.

                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                          My dad would do that--hot pickles rolled in pickled herring with a gallon jug of Canadian Ace lager. Sometimes with black bread and Limburger cheese, which would run everyone out of the house on a hot summer day.

                                                          I think in our house, anything rolled up and eaten with the fingers were rollmops.

                                                          1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                            And for as long as I have been devouring the rolled pancakes that are loved by Scandanavians, I don't think I ever heard the term "rollmops." Mama was not a big one for slang. She thought the kids were cursing when we would even say "lousy." Rollmops- I will take note. Thanks.

                                                          2. re: linguafood

                                                            I buy them regularly as my no no food, have some in the fridge and going to eat one now!

                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                Food that is high in salt & purines....(trigers for my hypertension and gout)..therefore , No no.

                                                                1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                  Ah, gotcha. My man's a fellow gout sufferer (altho allopurinol seems to have taken care of that for good).

                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                    Works for me too, but man some good herring???...love it...My BIL and I once had a taste off of avaliable herring in NYC....

                                                                    1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                      I wish I could make it to the city before the Dutch herring festival is over, but I don't think it's gonna happen. Wah.

                                                  2. re: grampart

                                                    Wow! I need that cookie!

                                                    My mom and I used to joke that we wished we could be Italian for the pizzelle cookies.

                                                    Now I now, we can add one more cookie, and nationality, to the list!

                                                  3. Savory:
                                                    - Bagel or bialy w/nova, cream cheese, tomato, onion & capers
                                                    Runners-up:
                                                    - Brisket with onions, potatoes & carrots
                                                    - Latkes with applesauce & sour cream
                                                    - Pickled herring & onions

                                                    Sweet:
                                                    - Noodle kugel
                                                    Runners-up:
                                                    - Matzo brei with cinnamon and fruit compote or preserves
                                                    - Chocolate babka
                                                    - Blintzes

                                                    17 Replies
                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      Y'know I've never thought of Noodle Kugel as a sweet dish.

                                                      But what do I know. Interesting.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        Never eaten, but just googled some recipes. Typically one cup of sugar to a pound of noodels. Sounds sweet to me.

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          I should have specified sweet dairy kugel - it's a staple holiday dish of Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine. The noodle kugel I grew up eating had sugar, golden raisins, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, cottage cheese & sour cream (and of course noodles). It was most definitely sweet.

                                                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          I was about to say, bagel with nova lox and cream cheese; cheese blintzes; and noodle kugel with pineapple and maraschino cherries.

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            And to your list I'd add chicken soup with matzoh balls, potato knishes and kasha varnishkes.

                                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                                              I initially had all 3 of those on my list as well, but I decided it was getting too long! Oh, and the matzo balls have to be fluffy floaters, no dense, gummy sinkers for me :)

                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              I'll take yours and add:
                                                              Savory:
                                                              -Chopped liver
                                                              -Stuffed cabbage
                                                              -Potato kugel
                                                              -Smoked whitefish
                                                              -Smoked sable

                                                              Sweet:
                                                              -Honey cake
                                                              -Hamantaschen
                                                              -Steusel cake

                                                              And I'll move your blintzes to the savory category served with sour cream!

                                                              Edit:

                                                              Gotta acknowledge over a century in the South:
                                                              -Lemon meringue pie (very tart)
                                                              -Eastern Carolina style BBQ
                                                              -Pecan anything
                                                              -smoked mullet
                                                              -grits, rice and corn bread
                                                              -buttermilk
                                                              -fig preserves

                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                Ack! I *knew* I missed something. Chopped liver is most definitely at the top of the savory list. I opted to leave out the smoked sable & whitefish since I gave the top spot to nova, but what the heck...I'd add pickled herring with onions, and pickled lox & onions in cream sauce too!

                                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                                  Not of the Twelve Tribes - an admirer though - but no love for pastrami? :)

                                                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                    I so seldom eat sandwiches I didn't even think about it! Plus living in the South good Pastrami has not always been the easiest item to come by...
                                                                    I do enjoy it though and it is on my "list" when visiting cities with good Jewish style delis!

                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                      If you search "Langer's" in LA or "Katz's" in NY, you can't go wrong...

                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                        LA just isn't my sort of city, although I'm sure I'd enjoy a guided food tour there!

                                                                        In NY I hit Katz, Russ & Daughter and 2nd Ave. Deli routinely.
                                                                        Used to go to a number of dairy places there which have closed over the years. Hoping to get to Chicago and St. Louis within a year so there should be some good deli possibilities.

                                                                        Now I'm just getting too hungry!

                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                            I treat my self to a Russ & Daughter delivery as a birthday gift every few years!

                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  The potato pancakes with apple sauce and the pickled herring are also among my favorite "heritage dishes", though I'm half German, not Ashkenazi Jewish. :)

                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                    definitely bagel w/ lox cream cheese onion and capers. latkes w/ applesauce and sour cream YUM. love me some kugel, too... and since my family hails from the (now) czech republic and hungary, i also love the family secret recipe hungarian goulash.

                                                                  2. Latkes
                                                                    Brisket
                                                                    Potato Kugel
                                                                    Potato Knish

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. Pieroghies - potato and cheese, with sauteed onions and sour cream.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: tacosandbeer

                                                                        i would like to add gefilte fish
                                                                        kasha varnikes
                                                                        smoked white fish
                                                                        sable
                                                                        petcha
                                                                        bowties and farmer cheese

                                                                        1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                          Lest we not forget the chopped liver on fresh Jewish rye, with a schmear of schmaltz!
                                                                          Kreplach
                                                                          Gribenez

                                                                          1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                            Man, I'm hung over and tired, but that sounds fantastic to me!

                                                                      2. I was born in the very southeastern corner of Az. it is on the Mexican border of the state of Sonora. I love Sonoran enchladas.

                                                                        Being raised by southern women biscuits, cornbread (no sugar or flour), bacon & fat, fried chicken, pie, greens, sausage etc. etc.

                                                                        1. Homemade spinach/meat/ricotta ravioli. We get together every year in early December and bang out like 800 of them for Christmas dinner. Yum.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                            That is what they look like though those are some I made last month with several types of cheese.

                                                                             
                                                                            1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                              I love them- the photo is so interesting

                                                                          2. Albanian here.

                                                                            Lakror me presh. That's a leek pie, Similar to Greek spinach pie but with homemade dough instead of filo and a leek, egg and cheese filling. I'll attach a pic.

                                                                            Albanian tea cookies, forget the Albanian name for them but Nana made them all the time. Kind of dry, twisted into shapes, brushed with egg and sometimes sprinkled with sugar. Red and green sugar at Christmas time.

                                                                             
                                                                             
                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Jpan99

                                                                              Is the Albanian name for those cookies close to Kolourakia? That's the Grk name for the somewhat dry, twisted shape cookies.

                                                                            2. Sweet: White Sugar Sponge Cake

                                                                              Savory: Dumplings

                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                              1. Great question! I'll have to give it some thought & get back to you. It's for sure that I don't get enough of it unless there is a family gathering of sorts. BRB.

                                                                                1. my Dad's parents came here from Austria...so my Mom learned how to make potato pancakes her way, shredded potato and onion, very crispy. That's my all-time favorite, hands down.
                                                                                  Sweet would be rugelach, with cream cheese based dough. That might be a nod more to our Polish or Russian sides.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: BeeZee

                                                                                    I am actually a similar "mut," or at least that is what I have been told.
                                                                                    The latkes were made , and are still made the same way in my house, as yours.

                                                                                  2. It's impossible to choose one, at least for the savory category. I'm not much of a sweetie.

                                                                                    Savory candidates:

                                                                                    - sour kidneys in cream sauce
                                                                                    - Königsberger Klopse (meat balls in creamy caper sauce)
                                                                                    - fried calf's liver with onions & apples and mashed potatoes
                                                                                    - pickled, cured or smoked fish of any kind
                                                                                    - fried brains with a squeeze of lemon
                                                                                    - white asparagus (in season only, of course) with new potates and smoked ham

                                                                                    Sweet:
                                                                                    - can't really come up with anything, whether particular to my "heritage" or region I grew up

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                      yes. it is impossible to choose one.

                                                                                      - fried calf's liver with onions and mashed potatoes
                                                                                      - pickled, cured or smoked fish of any kind
                                                                                      - fried brains with a squeeze of lemon

                                                                                      sound like dinner tonight!

                                                                                      Mmmmm, good!

                                                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                        Well, I could probably eat half of your list for dinner tonight, too!

                                                                                        Polí orea.

                                                                                    2. Pierogi. Farmers cheese and potato, or sauerkraut, or lekvar, or, pork, or . . . .

                                                                                      Three outta four Polish grandparents after all.

                                                                                      24 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                                          You can put that stew in a pierogi? Never thought of it, but it's an awesome idea. Kinda like soup dumplings, huh?

                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                            I guess I figured you could serve the pierogi on the side. Bigos is a regular thing on NFL Sundays in our non-Polish family.

                                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                                              I think this fall, I'm gonna make bigos pierogi. It's a wonderful, cross-cultural concept.

                                                                                                1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                                  I went out for beers with my Dad yesterday. He's a seventy-somethin', pure bred Polock, ex-cop. I told him that this fall, I'm gonna try to make pierogi stuffed with bigos. He lit up - "You think you can do that?"

                                                                                                  I figure, if you freeze the stew in ice cube trays, it should work.

                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                    I would make the bigos, strain off (and save) as much of the juices that I could, and then put the solids in the food processor and pulse until all was well combined (but not too mushy) and use the resulting "semi-chunky paste" for the stuffing. The reserved liquid could be turned into a gravy/sauce. Perhaps, before starting this process, you should reserve some of the actual stew for traditional consumption. Whatever or however, best of luck in this endeavour.

                                                                                                    1. re: grampart

                                                                                                      I think you're right, but I still think I need to get such a fillin' real, real cold.

                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                        I agree on the real cold although freezing it, especially without removing some of the liquid, may result in a soggy pierogi.

                                                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                                                          Man, you know what I forgot? That poppy seed roll up cake/bread. I don't even know what it's called, but, yesterday, my Aunt asked me if I had ever made one.

                                                                                                          Now, I love Bobka just like any other true son of the Golden Eagle, but that poppy seed thing, that was my favorite Polish sweet. Any other members of the soon to be covered in moles club have a family recipe?

                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                            It's called makowiec - my great aunt used to make a fantastic one. Unfortunately she passed away years ago and I've always wished I'd had the forethought to ask her for all those treasured family recipes.

                                                                                                            Come to think of it her daughter is still alive & my mother speaks to her on occasion - I'll ask if she might have the recipe.

                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                              Hungarians do the poppyseed roll too...we call it "beigli "

                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                Thanks, ghg. If you do come across it I'd love to see it.

                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                  I mentioned it to Mom last night, she said the next time she speaks to her cousin she's going to ask. I'll be sure to let you know if we get our hands on it!

                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                  There's a poppy seed bun thread up now with the recipe linked..one version.

                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                    Thanks for the heads-up, J. That recipe looks like several others I've dug up on the web, I just want to find out if they're close to our family recipe. I told Mom to ask her cousin, now she just has to *remember* to do so when they speak...

                                                                                                          2. re: grampart

                                                                                                            This is GENIUS. I love pierogi - I'm not Polish in the slightest, but when I was growing up, the mother of a friend of my father's (who emigrated here as an adult and never learned to speak much English) would make pierogi to stock my parents' freezer - pierogi night was one of my favorite meals my mother "made," LOL. Mrs. Kobisz also made the most divine cruschiki (she called them "Angel Wings") - fried in schmaltz.

                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                              ah- the heart burn and taste of schmaltz in chopped liver and perogis

                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                Pierogi for me too - sauerkraut and mushroom, potato and cheese, or farmers cheese. Same 3 out of 4 polish grandparents.

                                                                                                1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                  So are you old enough to have the moles to prove it too?

                                                                                                  By the way, mushroom pierogi are so good that I'm mad at myself for forgetting to mention 'em.

                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                    Yeah, but you did include the lekvar. Folks forget about them.

                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                      No moles yet. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to! I really like the whole wigilia meal, too. Except no prune pierogis there, just savory. We had prune at Easter.

                                                                                                      My sweet choice is cruschikis - when I was about 5, my job was to pull the tail through the slit in the middle and drop them into the hot oil. My grandma would pull them out, and tell me when to drop the next batch.

                                                                                                2. Thanks to Dad, this is a hard question. Which piece of my cultural heritage do you prefer?

                                                                                                  Mayflower descendant

                                                                                                  Native American

                                                                                                  African American

                                                                                                  Scottish American

                                                                                                  German American

                                                                                                  English Canterbury American

                                                                                                  Dad sure liked exploring the family tree.

                                                                                                  And my ethnicity as viewed by myself is Chicago/Michiana, Pittsburgh, US Army Southern, Florida.

                                                                                                  Snook in parchment with white wine and a sprig of tarragon.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                    First time I've seen another CHer from Michiana here. That part of our heritage gave us yellow lake perch sautéed in butter. Sadly, a dish that is rare these days.

                                                                                                  2. From the Irish half, I get everything Italian. My father's next-door neighbor, probably from Napoli, is responsible for his taste in food, and that's mainly what got passed along to me. The closest I get to Irish are mashed potatoes with cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

                                                                                                    My mother's father was from Austria, her mother from New Jersey, and what I got from that side was a love of dessert, I suppose.

                                                                                                    They met in the middle to provide me with a love of corn, tomatoes, and basil in the summer.

                                                                                                    1. Eastern North Carolina...not counting real barbecue...

                                                                                                      My favorite would be chicken & pastry.

                                                                                                      I'm American...that IS my cultural heritage.

                                                                                                      1. Portuguese sweet bread (masa sovada) and kale soup.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                          I forgot about sweet bread. Yummy

                                                                                                        2. Bun rieu for something I almost never get to eat. Banh mi for something I can eat so many different ways and never get too sick of. Banh da lon for the sweet stuff.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: vttp926

                                                                                                            Bun rieu is awesome! Love it when mom makes it...especially using tomatoes fresh from the garden. I could eat a giant bowl of it for lunch and dinner (maybe even breakfast too!)

                                                                                                            1. re: loodle

                                                                                                              I think I like it more when she can get fresh crabs. Especially with making bun rieu with crab stock.

                                                                                                          2. Punjabi here:

                                                                                                            Savory - Anything tandoori
                                                                                                            Sweet - Jalebi or Rabri

                                                                                                            1. Panjabi here too!
                                                                                                              Chole bhatture (garbanzo beans & fried dough

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Kalivs

                                                                                                                Tamil here, but pan-Indian upbringing, so I love Punjabi food too. I cannot narrow down to one choice, but chhole bhature is up near the top.

                                                                                                                The other top ranked is the typical set menu for the South Indian wedding spread on a banana leaf (EPS), including rasam-rice. :)

                                                                                                                Sweets: can't narrow down either. I like jalebi and imartis. I also like Bengali sweets.

                                                                                                                From the American side of the extended family I like vegetarian chili, and cheesecake.

                                                                                                                1. re: Kalivs

                                                                                                                  Ah Chole Bhature...has to be a cold January morning on the highway though.
                                                                                                                  Best followed by a 'dessert' of hot, sweet milk/tea

                                                                                                                2. I'm Chinese. I LOVE a whole steamed fish (preferably sole) with ginger scallion sauce. And wonton noodle soup. And almost any kind of fun.

                                                                                                                  1. Tourtière
                                                                                                                    Lamb stuffed grape leaves
                                                                                                                    Baklawa

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                    1. Sukiyaki.

                                                                                                                      I'm not japanese but my (german jewish) father was born and raised in Japan and cooked extensively. Sukiyaki was a regular meal when i was growing up and still tastes great and evokes fond memories for me.

                                                                                                                      My mom is an american mutt whose mother opened cans rather than prepared meals. No ethnic goodies comin' from that side of the family. Growing up, our next door neighbor baby sat me and I still crave her menudo and empanadas.

                                                                                                                        1. Danish - pickled herring.

                                                                                                                          1. One sweet, one savory, you said? Not such if they are my absolutely favorite, but I very much appreciate these:

                                                                                                                            Sweet: Steamed barbecue pork buns
                                                                                                                            or
                                                                                                                            Egg tarts

                                                                                                                            Savory: Wonton noodle soup
                                                                                                                            or
                                                                                                                            Salted fish and fhicken fried rice

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                              Scots, English, German- well, I like beer. But I grew up in the South, & my favorite dishes are Asian, so that's my chosen cultural heritage, & my favorite foods to cook....

                                                                                                                              Savory-fried shrimp or Tom yum goong, pulled pork or larb gai, coleslaw, pickled cukes, okra, green beans
                                                                                                                              Sweet- fresh fruit w/ poundcake

                                                                                                                            2. Savory: pyrohy and hotdish.

                                                                                                                              Sweet: bars.

                                                                                                                              1. Lutefisk ... Just kidding.

                                                                                                                                Real Swedish meatballs

                                                                                                                                1. Savory: Dosa, vada
                                                                                                                                  Sweet: jalebi

                                                                                                                                  1. Fried kibbeh is the first thing that comes to mind

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                        Can this be my favorite even if not my ethnicity? Jk

                                                                                                                                      2. Fried okra -- sliced okra coated with cornmeal, and fried in bacon drippings. Season with a lot of black pepper. Tastes like home to me.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                          My mother and her parents were Okies, which is why I was born in California in the 1950s. Other favorites were skillet cornbread and turnip greens. Plus, a big pot of pinto beans boiled with salt pork.

                                                                                                                                        2. Cookies. Just, in general. My grandmother was 100% German, and my great-Grandmother held that a good German household always kept some cookies around because if a child came to visit and you didn't have them to offer...well, that just shouldn't ever happen.

                                                                                                                                          Grandma lived on a farm, and only had an old black-and-white TV and some antique comic books to keep us amused when we weren't doing chores, but she DID always have cookies. They might sometimes be cold from the freezer, but they were always there.

                                                                                                                                          1. Hi, JLo:

                                                                                                                                            Scandanavian: Frikadeller meatballs; Rullepølse, Swedish pancakes.

                                                                                                                                            Polynesian: Ahi Poke/Ika Mata, Squid Luau, Coconut creme pie.

                                                                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                                                                                            1. I'm a real mix of European ethnicities, but my favorite is what my Czech grandmother called Goulash that she learned from her mother. Basically a no-tomato stew with a fair amount of paprika. I wish I had her recipe (not that she used one.) If she added sauerkraut she called it zygouli (?) goulash and my brother and I wouldn't touch it.

                                                                                                                                              1. My idea of cultural heritage includes the culture I grew up with around me, the culture of cities where I've lived as an adult, as well as cultural heritage(s) of my parents, grandparents and more distant ancestors. I'm sure I'm not the only CH who comes from a family that has moved around quite a bit, collecting some recipes along the way.

                                                                                                                                                These are some of my favourites:
                                                                                                                                                Stuffed grapeleaves with avgolemono sauce
                                                                                                                                                Spanakopita
                                                                                                                                                Borscht topped with sour cream

                                                                                                                                                Black Forest Cake
                                                                                                                                                Loukamades
                                                                                                                                                Strawberry rhubarb pie
                                                                                                                                                Blintzes, palascinta and crepes

                                                                                                                                                1. I am Chikasaw, Irish, and French, so I guess I'd have to say Creme Brulee and crepes.

                                                                                                                                                  1. With four Italian grandparents who each had Italian parents etc., an America born father and an Italy born mother I guess I have no choice but to say I have an Italian heritage...

                                                                                                                                                    My very favorite savory dish is Melanzane alla Parmigiano. And, since I don't really have sweet tooth I do enjoy a slice of Pizza Dolce at Easter.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Afelia
                                                                                                                                                      Ttavas
                                                                                                                                                      Kolokasi
                                                                                                                                                      Koupepia
                                                                                                                                                      Koupes
                                                                                                                                                      Kakavia
                                                                                                                                                      Psari Plaki
                                                                                                                                                      Lamb Fricassee
                                                                                                                                                      Souvlaki
                                                                                                                                                      Makaronia me Kima
                                                                                                                                                      Kokkinisto
                                                                                                                                                      Yemista
                                                                                                                                                      Horta Vrasta
                                                                                                                                                      Gigantes Plaki
                                                                                                                                                      Saganaki
                                                                                                                                                      Tzatziki
                                                                                                                                                      Faki
                                                                                                                                                      Fasolada
                                                                                                                                                      Papoutsakia
                                                                                                                                                      Tiropita
                                                                                                                                                      Spanakopita
                                                                                                                                                      Keftedes
                                                                                                                                                      Soutzoukakia Smyrneika

                                                                                                                                                      This list can go on forever... :-)

                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                        Holy smokes! You just listed my childhood. :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                            Got it! All exept for Ttavas, Koupepia and Koupes, Cretan???

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: justlizikaria

                                                                                                                                                              Cypriot. My mother was from the Greek Island of Cyprus and these dishes are just a small sample of some of my faves.

                                                                                                                                                              Ttavas - Cumin Scented Lamb or pork with potatoes roasted in the oven

                                                                                                                                                              Koupepia - Dolmades, yiaprakia

                                                                                                                                                              Koupes - Kibbeh, bulghar wheat fritters with pork or lamb filling

                                                                                                                                                              Afelia - pork medalions in a coriander seed red wine reduction

                                                                                                                                                              Kolokassi - the local taro root prepared various ways.

                                                                                                                                                              The rest are from my Athenian born and raised fathers side of the family.

                                                                                                                                                              I hope you enjoy them too!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                Isn't Cyprus an independent country and not "Greek". And doesn't it have a mixed cultural background of people from both Greek and Turkish heritage?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                  Cyprus is its own country, but its people tend to be Greek Cypriots who are Greek Orthodox and speak Cypriot Greek,
                                                                                                                                                                  or Turkish Cypriots who are Muslim and speak Turkish. Some of the food is regionally distinct to Cyprus, but much of the food involves ingredients/flavours one would find elsewhere in Greece/Turkey/former Ottoman Empire. I'm only familiar with Greek Cypriot food, which tends to have more in common with the food of the Aegean islands and Crete than mainland Turkey.
                                                                                                                                                                  Greek Cypriots who move elsewhere tend to mix with Greeks from elsewhere because the share a language, a religion and a culture.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                    Indeed, yes. Cyprus is a member of the European Union.

                                                                                                                                                                    Whilst I visit the island now and again (most recently in 2010), I have never visited the occupied north where, since the "forced" population moves, the 20% of the population who are of Turkish heritage live. FWIW, my wife started school in Cyprus and her younger brother was born there.

                                                                                                                                                                    Much of the "Greek" or "Turkish" food here in the UK is Cypriot, rather than the respective mainlands - another bit of British diversity due to our imperial/commonwealth history.

                                                                                                                                                          2. I am a first generation American...my whole family came from Vienna. I guess the obvious answer is Wiener Schnitzel, which we had for dinner once a week with cucumber salad.
                                                                                                                                                            For sweets...hands down favorite, vanilla kippferl...cookies with same same flavor profile as Mexican wedding cookies.

                                                                                                                                                            1. I've happily adopted mr. Vuitton's cultural background so smoked fish of any kind and lihapiirakka (meat pie) for savouries and korvapuusti for sweets.

                                                                                                                                                              From my own, stuffed peppers nd tomatoes (yemista) and Horta (leafy greens with lemon, olive oil and sea salt) and on the sweet side, kourambiethes and baklava

                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                                                                                                                                I'm more of a phoenikia kind of girl. Ha ha.
                                                                                                                                                                Love yemista.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                  Bwahahahaha! :)

                                                                                                                                                                  I had not heard of them called by that name until I "met" you.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                                                                                                                                    It's Eastern Aegean island talk, afaik. Where melomakarona are often known as phoenikia, and where dolmadakia are often known as yiaprakia! :-) I did meet a Peloponnesian-Torontonian blogger who insisted phoenikia were different from melomakarona. While that might be the case in his horio, they're the same thing in my horio.
                                                                                                                                                                    YHMV. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                      I asked my parents. They are the same in their horia too.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                        My take on it is ...Melomakorina and phoenikia are the same recipe EXCEPT that Phoenikia are 'dry' (plain or with powdered sugar) whereas Melomakarona are always dipped in syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: justlizikaria

                                                                                                                                                                          I've only had Phoenikia dipped in syrup. I've never seen or tasted an intentionally dry Phoenikia that's a finished product, but I'll try rolling one in powdered sugar next time I make a batch. I have made extra syrup for other people's syrup-dipped Phoenikia that were still too dry for my taste!
                                                                                                                                                                          Your horio/island/region may vary! :)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: justlizikaria

                                                                                                                                                                            My understanding was that phoenikia were also honey syrup dipped. Dry phoenikia / melomakarouna would be a choking hazard. My mama and baba tell me so. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Not one particular dish but German breakfasts in general. I yearn for those hard rolls, meat and cheese. I can't get good rolls like that where I live......

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                                                                      Brings back memories of what I ate in the mornings on a long ago trip to Frankfurt & Munich.... Did not realize this was a tradition, but remember being glad they had savory offerings other than just eggs. Such great bread & cold cuts....

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Braciole/involtini for savory.

                                                                                                                                                                      Tarte au sucre for sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Italian: Gravy, Meatball's and my grandmothers home made ravioli's. One of my earliest cooking memories is waking up on Sunday mornings and helping her make ravioli's from scratch.

                                                                                                                                                                        I do a pretty good job on replicating her gravy and meatballs, the ravi's although I have done it a few times over the years, I don't have the grandmother's "sprinkle of love" in my spice rack.

                                                                                                                                                                        My father is of English descent, but from the South. While not truly an ethnic dish, I will put my southern fried chicken, and sausage gravy, up against the best of them.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. I'm sort of a mutt, but mostly identify as Czech, so I'm a slave to the heart clogging goodness of smazeny syr. It's a big, thick slice of Edam cheese breaded and fried. Sometime served as a sandwich with a tartar type sauce, but I prefer mine on a platter, like the picture.
                                                                                                                                                                          http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/...

                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                              I ate this like 3 times a day when I was in Prague recently. There is just nothing better than fried cheese!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                Every time I go the the CR, it's the first thing I eat after hitting the ground. Sure, I can make it at home, but it's not the same as hitting the pub and washing it down with a big ol' pilsner.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                I thought you were cool on WFD but now I think I love you. I want that cheese plate right now. Wowza

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                  Awww, I <3 you too, suz! Now go ahead and make you some! It's pretty easy. You just have to make sure lots of breadcrumbs stick so it doesn't spring any leaks.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                    You wouldn't want any oozy cheese goodness escaping.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                      Not until it's ready to escape into your mouth.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Y'know, I should try to arrange a "Hounds in Prague: the smazeny syr pub crawl" tour. Now THAT would be fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                        Fried cheese and alcohol in Prague. Sounds like heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                  Looks very Mozzarella Carrozza to me!! Give me some gravy to dunk that in !!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                    Don't you mean "Slav" to the heart clogging goodness?

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hahaha. Couldn't resist.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh my god, that really is funny, haha!
                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey, we could team up and make the "Food From Places Formerly Behind The Iron Curtain Does Not Suck" tour!
                                                                                                                                                                                        I'd love to see that in Travel & Leisure.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Cheese balls - my Abruzzi great-grandmother brought the recipe to the states with her - basically fried balls of cheeses, bread crumbs, and eggs that substitute for meat during Lent or on Fridays. We still get a group of aunts and cousins together when we make them, since it's messy and tedious. We dunk them in the sugo about half an hour before dinner time

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think the Italian name is Pallotte Cacio e Uova.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Mother is English, German, French and Scottish. Didn't have much influence besides the Vermonter aspect. Favorites include:
                                                                                                                                                                                        Pickled white beans
                                                                                                                                                                                        Yorkshire pudding
                                                                                                                                                                                        Standing rib roast
                                                                                                                                                                                        Chocolate soufflé
                                                                                                                                                                                        Hot gingerbread with whipped cream
                                                                                                                                                                                        Dad is 100% Italian with all four grandparents coming off the boat.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Meatballs
                                                                                                                                                                                        Apizza gain
                                                                                                                                                                                        Apizza from our New Haven roots
                                                                                                                                                                                        Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                        Pickled eggplant

                                                                                                                                                                                        I seriously could live in bread , olive oil, cured meats, cheeses and good veg.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I'm an American mutt, with the last few generations in southeast Texas and Louisiana, so I'm going to go with fried catfish. And pecan pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: arashall

                                                                                                                                                                                            My dad loves pecan pie. It doesn't matter to him if it is homemade or store bought. He also used to buy pecan rolls. Do they still make those?

                                                                                                                                                                                            On a trip to Louisiana I fell in love with boudin. Louisiana and East Texas must make for some super delicious family gatherings!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I don't think I have one savory favorite. I love samgaetang (chicken ginseng soup) or seolleongtang (beef bone soup) in the winters (though the ginseng soup is supposed to be good for you in the summer). I'm always up for a bowl of bibimbap.

                                                                                                                                                                                            And even though I don't eat it as a sole side dish, I can't live without the varities of kimchi. I find it essential when I'm eating something fatty (like meat).

                                                                                                                                                                                            Not that many desserts in Korean food except fruit and the gazillion varieties of rice cakes. My favorite rice cake is yakshik (sweetened rice with chestnuts, jujubes, etc). My mom also makes the best shikae, a sweet rice drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. On my mother's side, I always look forward to a treat of slippery corn starch noodles dressed with shrimp, smoked fish, eggs, scallions and pork belly or mince tossed in a rich prawn sauce with a scatter of garlic chips and chicharron. There is nothing that can compare to that scrum of flavors and textures. For dessert, I never had much of a sweet tooth, but I do like the novelty of an occasional bowl of purple yam and mutant coconut ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                              On Dad's side, our name is Konkani, but post-Partition, we had little connection to that region. The dishes that I most associate with Dad reflect that. Right now I'm stuck trying to decide between the flaky, buttery parathas he used to get us as a treat, stuffed with pillows of shami kabab, cilantro and onions to be dressed with a spritz of lime juice and a yogurt dressing that cooled the burn of the chilies in the kabab whilst dribbling down my arms with every greedy bite... or do I choose an equally delicious lamb biryani with fluffy grains of basmati and incomparably tender meat. Sweets are a no-brainer since when faced with the colorful options of an Indian sweets table, I invariably go for the motichoor ladoo.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Southern US African American -

                                                                                                                                                                                                Baked macaroni and cheese - by far my favorite food of all time!
                                                                                                                                                                                                Smothered vegetables - favorite are green beans and collard greens
                                                                                                                                                                                                Fried fat back

                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Like you, my cultural heritage comes from where I was born & reared. I answered the original question above by saying my favorite was probably chicken & pastry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  We didn't have dishes that hailed from any type of "mother land". We cooked country food because that's what we were.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JayL

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm such a mutt. Maternal grandmother was mostly German, grandfather Irish, but my dad was never able to trace his side back further than West Virginia. (Yikes.) I think my cultural favorites are those that remind me the most of my grandparents and that were favorites of theirs as well. Fried catfish, chicken fried steak, pecan pie - all the healthy southern foods:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. It's way to hard for me to pick just one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Savoury - bubble and squeak, shepherd's pie, mushy peas, cullen skink, cheese and pickle sandwich, meat pie, fish pie, Sunday roast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sweet - sticky toffee pudding

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. My family's homemade pierogi, potato and sauerkraut. I used to dislike sauerkraut and cabbage as a kid because there was so much of it, my mom's side is all Polish and my dad is Russian and Polish, but now I love it! It is my son's favorite meal too. Never did try my Grandma's duck blood soup.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    As for sweet, klochkes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Midwestern US parents, with European Mongrel heritage. I like several casseroles. Sometimes I love the ones with Campbell's soup bases. As an adult I sought out a lot of various cultures for their food, because I had very little of it (see parental history above, and from way back- my folks would be in their 90s if they were alive)- it's been a great voyage.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I suppose if I was from Norway I might feel differently about the idea of fermented shark, but it's not something i'd seek out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 1st generation american, lithuanian on both sides. cepelinai and potato sausages for the cold months. and nothing beats the sweet, tanginess of cold beet soup with a boiled potato on the side for the hot summer days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I need to make that this weekend!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                            it's going to be a cold beet soup weekend for me. temps in the 90s and humidity to match!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I'm Chinese-Canadian with some Vietnamese sprinkled in from generations before my parents, so I'll list my favourite dishes from each culture (I prefer Viet cuisine more...so hard to choose just one!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chinese:
                                                                                                                                                                                                          -For savoury dishes I love dim sum, my favourite would be garlic chive and shrimp dumpling (I like all variations - steamed, pan fried and deep-fried). It's like a har gow but with garlic chives mixed in. Yummy!
                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Chinese sweets are not like traditional western sweets, most are sweet soups. I like either soft tofu with syrup (do fu hua) or bean curd skin with gingko nut sweet soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Vietnamese:
                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Savoury I would say bun rieu (noodle in tomato-based soup with crabmeat paste) or fermented pork ham called nem chua.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Sweet dish would be cassava cake unless you count beverages too. Then it would be vietnamese iced coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. My last supper would be bagel, lox and cream cheese with a slice of New York style cheesecake. Wouldn't need those arteries anymore anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ola

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Send me your address and I will go to Juniors in Brooklyn ,send it to you along with a bottle of my Lipitor!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I'm from the South--what I can never pass up is really good banana pudding. Someone once gave me the idea of splashing it with a dash of Kaluha. Sublime.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              As for savory--something I never had as a child, because they were always reserved for the grownups: rib tips. I love 'em. And fried chicken necks. Something that was just for the kids. I could spend forever on one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow. I'm shocked that chicken necks came to me, but the memory is so strong. Amazing

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NorthEncantoGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My dad's favorite fried chicken pieces are the necks and the backs, because it reminds him of his childhood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Try a splash of Amaretto in your banana pudding. It is Next Level stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: NorthEncantoGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We always had to save the neck and back for my Grandfather. He loved to gnaw on the bones. I never wanted them, but maybe I should try them as an adult.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: arashall

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL. You brought back a nice memory. My mom would always shake her head at my dad gnawing on the bones! He would always say that's where the flavor is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. OMG..I hate to say this in this PC age and everyone going ethno-centric............but........Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pud

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think of YP as an iconic food for Yorkshire (and for England) and as a traditional regional food for Anglo-Canadians, just as I think of Quiche Lorraine as iconic for Lorraine. Not sure why listing a British/Loyalist/Commonwealth/WASP/Anglo favourite is any less PC or any less ethno-centric than cabbage rolls or kibbeh.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love seeking ethnocentric regional stuff like Bakewell Tarts and Eccles cakes when I'm in the UK. I like trying regional dishes wherever I happen to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What's politically incorrect about being English?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would go for a roast chicken dinner - roast chicken, gravy, roast potatoes and parsnips, sausage and chestnut stuffing, creamed leeks, boiled carrots, bread sauce, redcurrant jelly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Though, my grandma's braising steak stew with mashed potatoes, leek suet pudding, and peas is up there, as is a stottie bun with ham, pease puddin and pickled beetroot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For sweet, scones with clotted cream and jam, or possibly apple and blackberry pie with custard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm rather proud of my British/English/Cestrian heritage and the food that comes with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When you say "Cestrian heritage" , Harters, do you mean the town of Chester, near Wales?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I lived in Chester for 5 years......had some wonderful meals there..on both sides of the border. But I don't remember anything specific to the area except for Cheshire Cheese......and the glorious ( although much more recent) Cheshire Ice Cream Factory

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It generally refers to the county of Cheshire, as well as the city. I was born in the county and still live here. In fact, I've lived all my 60+ years less than 20 miles from where I was born. It connects you to a place - the history, the people, the food, etc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you. I understand the connection to one's roots very well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. African-American- Born in Alabama. Raised in Georgia. Living in SoFla. I love me some fried catfish. For real though, If I'm really honest... fried anything, including chicken livers and gizzards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bigDADee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm AA too; my people come from Arkansas, Tennessee, and S. Carolina. Fried catfish yes--but it has to be done really nicely. There's a NoI fish place sorta near me that nails it. Snapper too, but that was another thing that was reserved for grownups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oddly though, I could never get with gizzards and livers, probably because my dad (on purpose) made them seem disgusting so he could keep them to himself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            One other thing I remember: when we moved to San Diego, there was a retired preacher who lived upstairs from us. Every week he'd go to the butcher, and get a pigs head, and make two hog-head cheese: one mild and one spicy. I'm not sure who or what I loved more, the hog-head cheese, or the man--who was truly lovely. He filled in as a 'grandpa' of sorts. But every week, he'd come to our door with his offering of hog-head cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Man, I miss him. Good memories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NorthEncantoGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree not everyone does catfish right. My co-workers all said they didn't like catfish until another coworker from Savannah had a fish fry. No they can't get enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ahhhh, yes. I forgot about hog head cheese. Major memory. Reminds me of my Grandmother. She always had some in the fridge, aka "the ice box".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How about some collard greens. And some okra fried in that crusty black cast iron skillet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bigDADee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ah, yes, that fried okra. But only from a cast iron skillet. Fried in bacon drippings with all those tiny bacon bits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: bigDADee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "If I'm really honest... fried anything, including chicken livers and gizzards."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Having no cultural intersections, I couldn't agree with you more. I once was sittin', drinkin' with a friend who's a fine chef. I pointed out to him, that "On the sixth day God created deep frying."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Dude, why do you think he waited so long?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bigDADee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Even as a small child I could eat my weight in gizzards...still can...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bigDADee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know it's horrible to admit in this, Oh! So horribly politically correct, self-conscious, healthy age, but DAMN, fried food ROCKS! And add an extra helping of butter. With some bacon bits, please!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Stuffed cabbage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cucumbers in sour cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Homemade corned beef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. On my dad's side, we're 100% New Brunswick Acadian, so my faves are:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    tourtiere
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    poutine rapee (not the french fry dish, but a pork meatball surrounded by shredded and mashed potato and steamed)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sugar pie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On my mom's side, we're German and Irish, so my faves are:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    corned beef and gahbage (my dad's name for New England boiled dinner)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    soda bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    brats in sauerkraut

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Black pudding and Chorley cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I doubt whether there is anything more delicious or more local to my cultural heritage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. My people are from Ireland. For sweet, a nice cream bun and a strong cup of tea with milk and sugar. And for savory, my mom’s Sunday roast which was either roast beef with roasted potatoes and onions, peas, carrots, Yorkshire pudding and gravy; or a baked ham with mashed turnips and boiled potatoes with lots of butter, creamed cauliflower and pearl onions and gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I'm Swiss, and there are a few things my mom and her siblings learned from my grandma....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Zopf - Swiss Sunday bread (you used to only be able to buy it on Saturdays at the market)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Birra Brot - I hated this one as a kid...and now my kids hate it too. But, someday it will make them think of their grandma, and they'll also realize what a great vehicle it is for butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: atcpa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I make Zopf pretty regularly. According to the recipe, "A rich milk-and-egg braid that stays fresh and soft for a couple of days, zopf is eaten by the Swiss on Sundays, when the bakers take a much needed day off".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A very nice loaf!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Gefilte fish..... the opposite of chocolate cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 1) Gravlox - salt cured salmon. No sugar. Fresh dill optional. 2) Smoked fish - salmon, sturgeon, trout, ... makes great hash topped with herb-ed sour cream (favorites are dill or fine chopped chives with a few drops of liquid smoke) 3) Smoked meat & jerkey - Roosevelt elk, deer, beef, ... 4) Processed meat - pepperoni, summer sausage lunch, and beer sausage beyond hot dogs - made mainly from Roosevelt elk, deer, or beef. 5) good pickles - home made hot, kosher, dill, garlic are hard to beat. Salt cured made with no vinegar are awesome but way harder to find than used to be here a few short decades ago on store shelves (most pickles moved to be made in India - thanks to Dean Foods in recent times have bad quality control, too often mushy pickles, and vinegar was added to my old favorite brand Mrs. Neushin's who used to have a natural cloudy brine. Local brands Nalley and Steinfelds are not what they used to be either). Bubbies are similar to my old Neushin's favorite but prohibitively expensive to eat jars at a time. Now grow and make my own pickles in attempt to eat what remember growing up and still perfecting pickle recipes after a decade or so (similar to pickles also like good sour kraut). 6) Potato salad. 7) Coleslaw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One side Finn with the other side German here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Three flavors of British - excluding Irish, in spite of my dad's claiming otherwise - but one 100% German grandpa who was the family's best cook exerted a huge influence. The confluence of Southern-style country cooking and that of German Mennonite farmers gave me more "favorite" dishes than I could seriously pluck just one or two from, but I think my mom's milk-braised small game (rabbits, the giant Illinois squirrels, and one very memorable young raccoon) and spareribs and kraut have to stand out as most notable. Grandma Owen's fried chicken was the best of many good things she did, but she was so protective of her methods she'd never let anyone but her husband in the kitchen while she was seasoning and flouring it, so it died with her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The everyday dishes we had at home were mostly typical of the 1940s and '50s - tuna-noodle casserole, porcupine meatballs, scalloped potatoes with ham, meat loaf. My dad and his father both fished a few times a year, so bluegill, catfish and crappie got cleaned, egged and fried with cornmeal coats. The potatoes were home fries, always made from cold boiled spuds with plenty of onion and fried in bacon grease. And if young leaf lettuce were in season, Mom would make her dad's favorite wilted lettuce with bacon, half-and-half and a final splash of vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And of course the family potato salad: a ratio of one potato to one egg to one-quarter onion, season to taste and mayonnaise to bind. That is infinitely expandable, a good thing when you're sometimes feeding two people, sometimes a family, sometimes a table full of farm hands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. From my Korean side, at the moment it's sahngchoo ssahm (lettuce wraps) with grilled pork belly, a really good ssahmjahng (seasoned fermented soybean paste), and all the interesting herbs and veg that go with - perilla leaves, chives, chrysanthemum greens, etc. And a bunch of Korean green chilies on the side for dipping and munching.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From my Vietnamese side, as cliche as it is, a really good bowl of pho with tendon and rare steak on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is making me hungry... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "This is making me hungry... :)"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Me too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I don't think I have a cultural heritage, being a mongrel and all....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So I think I'll nominate a mongrel dish -- korean burritos (even though Korea and Mexico are not part of my own mongrel mix).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Charoset. It's a dish we eat only on Passover. It's a sweet mixture of fruit, nuts, wine, raisins and cinnamon that's spread on matzoh. Like all food on the Seder table, charoset is symbolic - it's meant to represent the mortar which the enslaved Jews used to make the bricks that built the pyramids so it tends to have a paste-like texture. Every family has its own recipe and Jews from all over the world use their own preferred local ingredients, so Sephardic Jews from Spain/Morocco will use more dates, apricots, prunes, ginger/cardamom spices than Ashkenazi Jews from Europe who tend to use apples, walnuts, honey and cinnamon. Either way, it is deeeelish. If you ever receive an invite to a Seder, by all means GO - and enjoy this once-a-year treat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nursesara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It took me until adulthood to learn how good charoset can be. Throughout my childhood, every year we had one seder at our house and one at the home of our dear friends, and the charoset at both was always too heavy on the Manischewitz for my taste. Once I started making my own, I fell in love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Although I am Ashkenazi, I have been preparing mine with input of a Sephardic friend. Yes it is a once a year treat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ours is pure dates with a touch of wine and cinnamon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A lot of work to do it the old fashion way, pushing the cooked dates through a sieve but so worth it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds delish...How are the dates cooked?..and of course most things traditional/special do take some work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BTW...we normally two types of charoset at our Seders.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The dates are simmered in water for 2-3 hours then drained and pressed through a sieve adding water if needed to correct consistency.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The actual recipe consists of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dates
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  chopped pecans

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BTW Scubes...bought some dates and am going to give it a try...I'let you know

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I'm a total mixed breed. Does that mean I can name anything?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's why I named tri tip :) It's from the region I'm from, so I counted that as my personal cultural heritage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agree. I'm French, English, Scot and Canadian on Dad's side, and Mongol and German on Mom's. But I never had anything but midwest cooking growing up. That's why I named Mac n Cheese. It was the best thing Mom made. I like Mongolian BBQ, but it's not Mongolian and Mom never cooked it. In fact, the most exotic thing Mom made was spaghetti with tomato sauce. Pizza was take-out. Even living in SoCal, I never had the chance to eat a taco until I was a teen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Despite that, my favorite food is red. Think Mexican (enchilada sauce, salsa roja, taco sauce, pico de gallo) and Italian (red pizza sauce, Bolognese, marinara), and all the foods that those sauces accompany. Yup, I could eat red food every day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I never thought of food as a favorite color. That's fodder for a thread of its own. I'd have to say green would be my fave food color then...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I am German, French, Irish, Scottish, Native American, English... I am related to Davy Crockett and all. But like my forefather my family never settled either. I'm a military brat that has lived in Mississippi, Guam, North Dakota, Hawaii, Michigan, Ohio, & Kentucky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was never served food exclusive of the 'homeland' and only just recently learned a few dishes from my various ethnicity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So I choose another true mutt of a culture I had growing up, red beans and rice and bourbon pecan pie. Close second Kalbi ribs and a mango still hot from the sun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. The problem with your choice is that Argentina is every bit as much a nation of immigrants as the US. Old joke: Mexicans came down from the Aztecs and Mayans, Peruvians came down from the Incas, Argentinians came down from the boats...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Canadian born Chinese here so fried chili lo bak gao (turnip cake) for savoury and sesame tong shui (black sesame soup) for sweet favourites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Bengali (Bangladeshi)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Savory:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shaak Bhaji (shaak = saag)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mishti Kumra dyeh Chingri (mashed kabocha squash w/ shrimp)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Aloo Kerala Bhaji (potatoes and bitter gourd)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chicken Biryani

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sweet:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mishti Doi (baked sweet yogurt, in the earthenware bowl)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Motichur Laddu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ras Malai (but only if the roshagollas are smaller than a quarter)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: adrienne156

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I looked up all your favorites. I always wonder what is comforting to people of other cultures and know very little of Belgali cooking and tradition. So interesting and yummy looking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Do you bake the mishti doi in the earthenware bowl or put it in there to sit in fridge and then serve? Are the dumplings in the ras malai made from paneer?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love that you looked them up. There isn't a lot of info out there but I feel like Sandeepa over at bongcookbook.com does a good job.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The veggies are very humble dishes, but they're what I ask for when I go home. A bit of onion, lots of garlic, dried red chillies (like arbol), a serrano or two, bay leaf, turmeric. The bitter one has either some cumin or coriander in it, never made it myself... Bengali chicken biryani, or at least the version my fam makes, is incredibly delicious with big chunks of potato, dried plums, whole garam masala (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, whole black pepper, mace, bay leaves), and a teensy bit of homemade biryani essense (kewra pani aka pandanus flower extract, rose water, saffron).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The doi is baked in the earthenware, the temp is lowered to 200-something and it sits for a bit, and then it's cooled and refrigerated. There's a cheat that the "aunties" in the States use - plain full-fat yogurt as a starter to which jaggery/ghur and condensed milk is added.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And yes, the ras malai dumplings are made from fresh paneer. You know there's going to be a party at my mum's when getting your morning coffee involves maneuvering around bundles of cheesecloth hanging from the all the cabinet knobs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: adrienne156

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I bookmarked your Bongcookbook suggestion. Thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have pranked around with Biryanis, but I always think something is missing... like I would know (lol), but I just knew that what I was making could not possibly be the dish of a nation. None of mine had pandanus flower extract or rose water. I had to look up pandanus flower extract to make sure it was not called something else. Nope. Never heard of it, but I wrote it in my notepad for when I go to town and will look for it (and wrote down what it is for so it won't sit on my shelf wondering what it is doing there years later!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I saw that there was a version of doi made with condensed milk. I am a a cheater so I will try it! Good to know about the earthenware. I would have ignored that too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I loved that you were particular about the size of the dumplings. I think it reflects true love in memory banks to bother to say that. It made me smile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you for your thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The problem with biryani is that there are so many regional variations and on top of that, variations from house to house. My family's version is completely Mughal-influenced and I've heard it compared to a biryani from Lucknow. It's not a saucy biryani if that makes sense. Alls I know is that it's a very old recipe and I don't get it til I'm married. feh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As for the kewra, if you check out an indo-pak grocery store, look for biryani extract. It'll come in a small, very shady looking bottle. The blogs will prob be able to direct to a decent brand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You don't necessarily have to make the doi in an earthenware bowl, but do need to do it in some type of ceramic. ...As for the roshagullas/dumplings - Bengalis are known for being neurotic about their sweets and I'm totally guilty of it. The reason for it for me is that when they're bigger, they have to be cooked longer in syrup, and are often overcooked which leads to the dumplings "squeaking" when you eat them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sal, what really needs to happen is that I need to just finish school and have a chow down. You'll bring the rye whiskey and I'll make the biryani. Biryani is especially good after a few cocktails imho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: adrienne156

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, what you REALLY need to do is get yourself married so we can get that biryani recipe. But no pressure Adrienne... LOL Meanwhile you and I will concentrate on celebrating your finishing school with out heritage cook/drink fest!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you for the peek into fun regional differences and preferences. I love that. Love Bong Mom's too! I found A homemaker's Diary by another Bengali woman. Very interesting and inspiring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sal - LOL. I'm working on it. Gimme a year or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kalivs - kerala is totally an acquired taste along with shutki (dried fish... loitta shutki is also known as bombay duck), potol (they're like crunchy bitter cucumbers, most often made into a bhaji), muri ghonto (a kind of thick stew/mash made with fried fish heads, rice, and lentils, sometimes chunks of bottle gourd), and panta bhat (rice that's been left to ferment slightly over night in its cooking liquid, often mixed w/ ghee, salt, and chilies... not unlike congee). I'm good with shutki and potol, but muri ghonto and panta bhat make me shudder. My future FIL likes to randomly joke that we're having panta bhat for breakfast just to see my reaction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What're your favs, Kalivs??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Adrienne - I want to make Chaap or ChaaNp . It calls for Kewra water. Since I have never tasted it I am unsure about whether I actually need it - like it is integral or a nice touch. Do you know?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Promise to try a nice Bengali sweet very soon. Maybe when you announce your engagement (call me surrogate mama).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Right on, surrogate mama! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So, Mum said the kewra pani is needed, but the rose water that a lot of chaanp recipes call for isn't. Be very careful not to overdo it though, "a few drops" really does mean 3-4 otherwise you're going to end up eating potpourri. Btw, chaanp is also sometimes referred to as simply "roast" so it'll be mutton-er roast or chicken-er (bangla - murgir) roast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: adrienne156

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bengali sweets are divine and always the best. But, Kerala? It has been my nemesis since I was a little child. I was always told that it was an acquired taste and I would like it when I'm older. I am older now & I still don't like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Like adrienne says, biryani is a dish with incredible regional variation. My father makes a great chicken or beef biryani in the Karachi style, but other Pakistani families I've eaten with favor a Sindhi biryani that I find comparatively heavy on the clove and black cardamom, particularly when they load the biryani with carrots or peas. Lately my father has been experimenting with a new recipe with dried plums which I find very interesting and totally unexpected. Personally I make a Hyderabadi style biryani from a recipe I got from Tamil friends, no kewra water/pandan extract, but quite a bit of fresh herbs and chili. There is a lot of room for experimentation and adaptation for you to make a biryani authentic to your tastes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  JungMann--will you share your Hyderabadi biryani recipe? I have several, but none are quite what we had in Hyderabad. My sisters-in-law--accomplished cooks--still have their biryanis catered by Moslem Hyderabad women (and the relatives are Parsis).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I lost the email when my provider erased my inbox a few years ago so my exact recipe is imprecise, but a recollection of what was given to me. For the meat marinade I will use a combination of ground black pepper, red chilli powder, ground clove, cumin, coriander, turmeric, black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon stick, ginger-garlic paste and green chili with yogurt. For the rice masala, it's whole bay leaves, green cardamom, cumin seed and a cinnamon stick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To prepare, I cook the meat and gravy in one pan and cook the rice in another until it is about 3/4 of the way through, then drain. To complete the biryani, I alternate layers of rice, fried onions and herbs (mint and cilantro) and the meat in gravy in a buttered casserole. Drizzle with saffron milk and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes at 350. Top with additional crisp fried onions and cilantro to serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks. Spicing sounds similar to mine, but I've not par-cooked the meat and rice separately--interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pakki style biryani utilizes parcooked meat and gravy. Kacchi biryani, where the raw meat is cooked beneath the rice in a sealed vessel, is an alternate style. I've never tried the latter but I imagine it would be a much easier way for me to make a quick chicken biryani.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The 2nd style is what I learned. Layered parcooked rice with meat and a generous pour of onion flavored oil between the layers. I make it in a CI Dutch oven, with foil between the pot and lid, then crimp the foil edges for a solid seal. Amazing stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What sides to you serve with biryani? Hubs always wants something wet, yet all the dals, etc I've made seem humdrum next to elegant biryani (even found gold foil once for the top).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: adrienne156

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, I was going to say ras malai (altho' it's from Mr. P's heritage, not mine). First bite ever: I just froze in awe of the deliciousness. I make a mean plain rasgulla, but haven't mastered ras malai. For savory Indian, it has to be palak paneer--several trips to India, I had it every day for nearly a month. Heavenly with just made naan, or especially with puris.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4. re: adrienne156

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just one point:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kerala = the name of the state in South Western India, diametrically opposite from Bengal, though a similar emphasis on seafood, coconut, and rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Karela = the name of the vegetable you are discussing, aka bitter melon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Note the difference in spelling. Small but very significant, and pronunciation is very different to the ear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know where Kerala is, I just am just exceedingly bad at spelling Bangla using the English alphabet (dyeh is also actually spelled diye). And, technically speaking, "kerala" is not even the correct spelling as in Bangla, the word is spoken "khollorah." :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And, to surrogate mama (I'm shortening this to SM), I'm not even kidding when I say this - time for you to make some sweets!!! Happened yesterday. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: adrienne156

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Adrienne: you're funny :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's not "khollorah" in Bangla-speak, as you have swapped the l's and r's. It would be more like "khorella".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My brain is fried. You're totally right. I'm actually a very educated person, I swear. lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know the difference too. But, my spellcheck incorrectly corrected it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Irish/German so:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Savory -Shepherd's Pie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sweet- German pancakes with powdered suger & jam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But I married Polish and after 15 years have fallen in love with:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Savory- His Grandma's perogies- pork, beef, mushrooms, onions mmmm she passed a while ago but we still make them once a year or so.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sweet- Faworki, little crispy bites of yummy. What a mess they make too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I'm getting so hungry!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Italian and Sephardic Jewish (mainly from Portugal & Spain) here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Italian: Pasta e ceci (pasta & chick peas) - all time favorite. It's the first thing I learned how to make from my grandmother and the only thing of hers (unfortunately!) where I can duplicate the taste exactly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Spain/Portugal: I love empanadas, and my aunt's chicken & rice dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And I can't resist a good appetizing! Smoked fish & schmears with bagels & all the fixings! My absolute favorite thing for breakfast (proud NYC Jewish roots!) :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sra. Swanky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This: And I can't resist a good appetizing! Smoked fish & schmears with bagels & all the fixings! My absolute favorite thing for breakfast (proud NYC Jewish roots!) :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sra. Swanky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My absolute favorite thing for breakfast (proud NYC Jewish roots!) :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I said my favorite savory dish from my heritage was a bagel or bialy w/nova, cream cheese, tomato, onion & capers, but I probably should have been more specific...bagel from H&H, bialy from Kossar's, nova & cream cheese from Zabar's, and tomato slices from a fresh, local Jersey beefsteak ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yum! Nothing like it in the world. NYC represent!! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I thought h&h was no more?!!! Are they back? Where?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The OP asked for a favorite but didn't specify that it still had to be in existence - I was describing my ideal. So sorry I psyched you out! I honestly didn't even think about H&H having gone out of business because I haven't been able to eat a bagel since I received my celiac diagnosis 6 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (BTW, there actually were plans for someone to revive the H&H brand - with the original recipe - and open a location on the LES last year, but the negotiations fell through.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It is Sunday morning, after reading this heading to Utopia bagels in Queens, NYC for a samwidge of nova, veggie cream cheese, on a bialy, width a thin slice of Spenish onyon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BTW...the is a bagel store on 81street and 2nd ave on the upper east side called "Eastside H&H"...decendent of the original store on the west side of Manhattan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I grew up in Germany and Potato dumplings are on top of my favorite list. Eating them with a nice Goulash ( we love Venison Goulash nowadays, but mixed other meats are fine too). Traditional German Christmas Cookies and Stollen have to be on top of the list for the sweet stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Mmmmm.....chicken paprikash...my favorite!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just my moms-which I never bothered to learn because I always wanted to her to make it! I guess I should learn, though, one of these days! It turns out like a thick soup, or a soupy stew. I've seen some that are drier, and others that are more deconstructed. To me, my moms is the best and the only one I will eat!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, so many variations! It's such a great comfort food! Thanks for that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. The person who cooked in my preschool years was my great-grandmother whose cuisine ran to fried eggs, fried potatoes, fried cornmeal mush, fried chicken, fried corn, and fried ham, all fried of course in bacon grease. Even mashed potatoes got repurposed as fried potato cakes. Vegetables were cooked (for days) with a chunk of bacon. (All of it was delicious.) Chicken & dumplings were a big item on Sundays. After I grew up and did some genealogy I learned that her folks had come up from Kentucky to Illinois 100 years before I was born but she still cooked Southern and when she was alone with her sister (except for very small me) she talked in a broad Appalachian accent she never let show when other adults were around. (And somehow or another I knowed right good and well that she were a-talkin'---and a-cookin'---the homefolks way.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I loved everything about this post. I have a grandma from Kentucky. She just had an accent, or should I say drawl but the food screams to me. It takes me back to my grandma's table. Thank you so much

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm from Kentucky, so my first thought about this topic was "hmmm, white bread?" Then I realized I was fortunate enough to be born in the Land of Biscuits and Gravy, so that white bread morphed into biscuits, gravy, and country ham. Is that an ethnicity? (Methinks not)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's ethnic enough for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        People here tend to think of "ethnic" as being from another country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sooooooo...what is unique here should be "ethnic" in other countries. Right? LoL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Seriously...I grew up eating local food. Did my ancestors come from somewhere else? Sure they did...but we never heard about it, studied it, celebrated it, rejoiced in it, or anything else. We lived as Americans...from America. We didn't live as Americans...from somewhere else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So my southern roots ARE my cultural (ethnic) heritage. I don't have anything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JayL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nicely said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My mom's relatives were the quintessential Scots who moved to Appalachia. Dad's heritage was native American.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I am German, Dutch, English, American Indian, Scottish (I would sat Pict - but I don't want to start another controversy), Norwegian... So you can bet your booty I am a drinker. Is that dessert? Sometimes. I like roasted pork knuckles or anything remotely associated with the snouted one. Anything starchy especially potatoes... fried... in pig fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I used to think I was Polish/Mexican because I adored kolaches and pinto bean soup (with pig) so much as a child (OK still do), but it turned out I was just the kid of many generations of Texans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I identify more with the Texas in me than the Euros or Indian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "I used to think I was Polish/Mexican . . . ."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My "off the boat" Polish Grandmother's name was Carmelita. I sometimes wondered if I was Polish/Mexican too. I never could figure that one out?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Cornbread with apple butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Followed closely by Brunswick stew. Also country ham and biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And watermelon pickles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My people were Scots who landed in Pennsylvania and migrated down into Virginia and the Carolinas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Should say that the Germans who settled the same areas as my Scotch forebears contributed more than anyone else to the quality of the region's cooking (and farming, and building, and the domestic arts generally). The foods that are my favorites are really from that heritage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Thanks to my wonderful Grandma (Indonesian)...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Savoury: any kind of noodles. We would have noodles every birthday because they represent longevity (if memory serves me correctly).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sweet: Kueh lapis - there are various versions, but the one I'm thinking of is the moist, dense, egg-yolk-rich spiced cake which is cooked one thin layer at a time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I googled up an image:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://teckneotarts.com/Kuehlapis.htm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Do you see the stripes? Each one is a layer that was ladled on and browned under a broiler, one at a time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love love love this cake, but I've only made it once because it takes hours to make! It's a real labour of love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ursy_ten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ah I love that cake! I had it at a Singaporean friend's wedding and had never been able to find out what it was called - thanks! I feel bad about eating so much of it now that I know it's made layer by layer...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ah no! It's meant to be enjoyed and appreciated :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really have to make one soon, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Just want to chime in about how much I'm enjoying this post. I've learned about so many new dishes and the memories shared have been really great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Tough question..my family is Hungarian on both sides and in my 60 years I've never met a native dish I didn't like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If forced, I can narrow it down to three dishes (all pork based):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1) Kolbasz --pork sausage made with salt, pepper, garlic, & paprika. Great whether házi style (fresh, unsmoked), or smoked and allowed to dry (like pepperoni, only infinitely better)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2) Pecsenye--in my family that means browned then braised slices of shoulder butt, served either on a plate or on rye bread, with sauerkraut.(some recipies skip the braise. My contribution to the family way is to braise in beer).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3)Szekely Goulash-- cubes of pork braised with onion, sauerkraut, and paprika, with sour cream stirred in at serving time. The combination of the kraut and sour cream is mind bogglingly delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  " The combination of the kraut and sour cream is mind bogglingly delicious."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Isn't that the truth? Abstractly, I think the combo would be something akin to the taste of bile after barfing, but in reality it is heaven. Hungarians know what to eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I am german scottish Norwegia, but my mother hates to cook when i was young i met my best friend for life who is frim a greek family... shocking to me... even the men cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i now cure my own olives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  put lemon and ooreganoin everything
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  make minestra, pastitsi, bakava, and dolmathes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  my mother the non cook is offened

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  so i make hef boller just to say iknow something about norway (and because i like it.. a lot)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Goatjunky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Isn't that funny!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When I was a very poor student in college (seriously - I was very hungry and poor) a Chealean Iraqi (or is it v versa?) family fed me. Now I am all the time looking for her Kibbe recipe (potato outside, meat in with what tasted like 1000 isl. dressing to dip into) and stuffed leaves and veggies. I dream of it and always search for just the right filling combo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anyone know how to make that sort of kibbe BTW? I ask that in the most pathetic and pleading voice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love that you picked up the taste and tradition of another culture and yet keep a recipe for mom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Ok well being a well stirred mix of things I would have to say my favourite cultural dish is a good swiss cheese hamburger. Simple just mayo, mustard, onions and pickles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SevyF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Off topic... I love your avatar. I can't make one from my tablet. But yours is the bomb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Weisswurst and Munich Helles before noon. White sausage must be eaten before noon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I'm Italian and I have to say my favorite dish is bacalao fish. It can normally be purchased at most groceries as a dry salted COD fish. You need to let it sit in water for at least 2 days and drain some of the salt. Once soft you let it simmer in some tomato sauce with onions, garlic and basilic. Very delicious! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. hmm... from my two sides:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -homemade mushroom and sauerkraut pierogi, beet borscht, latkes, baked chicken with mushrooms and dill over egg noodles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -spaghetti with clam sauce or pesto or meat sauce.some great olives and cheese to start.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. My mom's tourtiere. Very mild pork and beef with a hint of spice. I load it up with black pepper and some of her green chow on the side with a cold beer. MMM. C'mon Christmas!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Being a Bessarabian Judio, I love BOTH Kasha and MamaLiga (Polenta).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MOREKASHA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oy..the mamaliga with schmaltz!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tough one...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hungarian-Canadian that I am, my top ones are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Paprikás Csirke (Paprika Chicken)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and just good old Hungarian salami

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sweets wise, it's a tie between cheese palacsinta and Somloi galuska (to die for images here: https://www.google.com/search?q=Somlo...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: foodslut

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  oh boy...good Hungarian szalami and sauteed onions with soft scrambled eggs, on soft toasted croutons...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gotta make some. now. for dinner.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Jamaican foods define my childhood.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ONE savory? Ackee- an indescribably flavored fruit. The national dish eaten with salted cod (bacalao).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ONE sweet? Gizzada- Coconut ginger tart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If I may add a few more, Escoveitched/escabeche fish (usually snapper)- with Bammy (cassava cakes soaked in salt and coconut milk then fried).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  <sigh>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: t19103

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    *Yum* to all. No curry goat or sweet potato pone?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. My father's family is German...but they spent 100 years in Russia before coming here (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volga_Ge... ). My grandmother made a number of recipes that aren't exactly either German or Russian. I loved her cabbage rolls and her borak (ground beef, onion and cabbage cooked together, then wrapped in yeast bread dough and baked)...but my very favorite is Sauerkraut and Knipfla (my phonetic spelling). She baked country-style pork ribs with onion and a little water for an hour or so in a covered roasting pan. She'd then add a couple cans of sauerkraut and bake it another hour or so. While this was baking, she'd make the knipfla: a standard egg noodle dough cut in chunks about the size of my top thumb joint, boiled until cooked (just a few minutes), drained, and added to the roasting pan for another half hour or so. All the flavors meld wonderfully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    24 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jjw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      but my very favorite is Sauerkraut and Knipfla (my phonetic spelling)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's knoephla, a kind of German dumpling traditionally served in chicken soup with potatoes...but the way your grandmother cooked them sounds terrific.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for correcting my terrible spelling. I'd never seen it in writing...only heard family day it... And I didn't know about the soup. I'll research that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Actually, we're both correct. Knöpfle is the German origin of the word, but here in the States - particularly in the northern part of the midwest (e.g. the Dakotas & Minnesota) where the Soviet German emigrants who brought them to this country settled - they're knoephla.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Didn't the Volga Germans mostly emigrate to the midwest prior to the Russian Revolution. I thought most of them came over in the 1800s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My relatives came around 1900. I'm 65, and that means my grandparents were children when they came here. They lived isolated lives once here, and mine is the first generation to ever speak English at home or church...or to eat "American" food. (Yes, mods, I'm trying to keep this on the subject of food).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm no history expert, but yes, AFAIK the primary emigration occurred in the latter half of the 1800s. Why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      reasons why people emigrated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      programs in Russia/Poland, irish famine, anti-semitism

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't understand what your post means in regards to our conversation...?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And do you mean pogroms?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There was also the Crimean War
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Revolution of 1848 in German States
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Franco -Prussian war

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My paternal grandparents emigrated from the same village. My grandfather was escaping the tsar and my grandmother was escaping Lenin. The Soviet thing threw me for a moment. My grandmother was not a great cook. She had to work in the fields in her childhood because she had no brothers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Boureka's are also common in Turkish/Greek/Mediterranean Sephardic Jewish cooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have a recipe for Runsas (the Nebraska version) but I've never made them. They were not part of my family's heritage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It has been an interesting search on Voga Germans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  amazing that there r so many similarities btw Ethnic and Religious groups

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't met too many briks/bureks/bourekas I haven't liked. The ones I've tried have been Bosnian, Cretan, Turkish, Israeli, Moroccan, Tunisian. I haven't tried any versions from north of Bosnia, yet. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: jjw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Your grandmother's Bierock (borak) sounds a lot like a runza. There is a chain of fast food restaurants in Nebraska selling bierocks (Runzas). There is a large population of Volga Germans in Nebraska.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bierock/borak sounds like something I must try!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They are on my list of recipes to try. If you Google 'runza recipe' you will have many recipes from which to choose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I made some runzas a few years ago. They were pretty good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And as I replied above to goodhealthgormet: Thanks for correcting my spelling. I was most interested in the Nebraska chain you mentioned. I've lived in California my whole life, but the German relatives who moved here from Russia settled in the southeastern corner of South Dakota, very near the Neb