Happy Fourth of July to all my American readers both here and abroad. We're in interesting times right now with a heightened xenophobia that harks back to a more close minded era. We cannot be that way. We have to be more like our diets and be more welcoming to new ideas and flavors.
Remember that it was a wide variety of immigrants that gave us the foods we're munching on those special day that celebrates not only only our freedom but our grit as a people.After all those okras and yams, so long ingrained in the American diet. were brought here by the enslaved from Africa , along with several of our most treasured cooking techniques. Germans gave us hamburgers, hot dogs and potato salads. The French and Belgians provided us with the recipe for French fries. Ice cream? Thank first the urbane Thomas Jefferson who brought it from the French who probably got it from an ancient Roman recipe. That ice and pizza? Definitely from the Italians who came here a century ago. The fish tacos and burritos at the pool snack bar? Mexicans immigrants carried those recipes with them. What about those wontons or egg rolls? Variations of them came over thanks to two centuries of Chinese newcomers . Our diets as well as our lives would be as bland as ever without the contributions of foreigners.
We have always been a country of immigrants, ever since that first step upon Plymouth Rock. Foreigners have given us our language, our government and most importantly an ever changing diet. We should thank each new wave as they come in for their culinary contributions instead of vilifying and isolating them.