I live on the flip side of this. I am white. I married a man from Laos and fell in love with the food, language, culture…10 years later the thing that hurts the most after our divorce? His insistence that my food, my southern heritage infused, love suffused food was tasteless. I came to see myself as plain, ordinary, boring, bland just like my food. Smothered by the guilt that I couldn’t teach my daughters to cook like his mom. What did I have to offer them, bland grits, heavy gravy, and too sweet tea.
Now my daughters and I learn together. Together we are regaining our own spice. For all of us the rich butter laden pound cakes, the crunchy fried cornbread and the savory spark of Pad Thai, the lip plumping warmth of home grown peppers.
No one should have to feel bad about the culture they were born into…we should all value the gifts we bring to the table without hurting each other. Dinner & life would be so much more delicious.