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: Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family Stories from the Tables of Immigrant Women
: Anna Francese Gass
: Harper Design
: 2019
: 69
: / English

A gorgeous, full-color illustrated cookbook and personal cultural history, filled with 100 mouthwatering recipes from around the world, that celebrates the culinary traditions of strong, empowering immigrant women and the remarkable diversity that is American food. Born in Italy, Anna Francese Gass came to the United States as a young child and grew up eating her mothers Italian cooking. But when this professional cook realized she did not know how to make her familys beloved meatballsa recipe that existed only in her mothers memoryAnna embarked on a project to record and preserve her mothers recipes for generations to come.

In addition to her recipes, Annas mother shared stories from her life in Italy that her daughter had never heard before, fascinating tales that whetted Annas appetite to learn more. So, Anna began reaching out to her friends whose mothers were also immigrants, and soon she was cooking with dozens of women who were eager to share their unique memories and the foods of their homelands.

In Heirloom Kitchen, Anna brings together the stories and dishes of forty strong, exceptional women, all immigrants to the United States, whose heirloom recipes have helped shape the landscape of American food. Organized by region, the 100 tantalizing recipes include:

Magdas Pork Adobo from the Phillippines
Sharis Fesenjoon, a walnut and pomegranate stew, from Iran
Tinas dumplings from Northern China
Annas mothers meatballs from Southern Italy

In addition to the dishes, these women share their recollections of coming to Americastories of hardship and happinessthat illuminate the power of food, and how cooking became a comfort and a respite in a new land for these women, as well as a tether to their native cultural identities.

Accented with 175 photographs, including food shots, old family photographs, and ephemera of the cooks first years in Americasuch as Soons recipe book pristinely handwritten in Korean or the measuring cup Anke tucked into her suitcase before leaving GermanyHeirloom Kitchen is a testament to female empowerment and strength, perseverance, diversity, and inclusivity. It is a warm and inspiring reminder that the story of immigrant food is, at its core, a story of America.


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