One of the great things about the winter holidays is the opportunity to learn about the traditions of people whose backgrounds are different from one’s own. And because so many people celebrate their holidays with special dishes, it’s a great time also to sample new tastes. Perhaps you have a family member from another culture who shares his or her favorite recipe at a family gathering; or maybe you’re home for the holidays and meeting new neighbors, and have the chance to try a special baked good from their native country. In today’s NC Food, we revisit some of our favorite earlier posts about just this: celebrating the holidays with new, as well as old, food traditions.
Historian David Cecelski, NC Food’s original blogger, has written extensively about the culinary heritage of his home community in Eastern North Carolina, as well as his new discoveries of cuisines all over the state. Back in 2009 he wrote about the traditional mole sauce that his brother-in-law, a native of Guanajuato, Mexico, shared with the extended family. A couple of years later he met a tamale vendor from Guerrero, Mexico, who introduced him to the tamales and atole that she made especially for the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, on December 12.
David has been reporting on holiday delicacies for quite a few years. All the way back in 2008, he wrote about the Eastern European-style pierogi made in December by members of the congregation of Cary’s Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Church.
Sometimes new traditions can actually bring us full-circle, back to something we thought we had lost. Earlier this year, Watauga County native Sally Parlier wrote about how her family elders had always enjoyed cabbage, but she herself had long avoided it. But by trying the cabbage dishes prepared for the holidays by her Ukranian-American husband, Sally developed a taste for the vegetable that had been a staple for her forbears.
We hope that you’re enjoying a happy holiday season, with delicious food traditions . . . old and new.