When you hear the phrase cultural heritage, what comes to mind? Maybe you remember goingto see ethnic folk dances with people wearing traditional costumes. Perhaps you were exposedto the music and arts of this culture.
Most likely, however, what comes to mind will be the food. It might begin with the recollectionof your mother’s cooking, or visiting grandma’s house and receiving a special treat as a rewardfor good behavior. As you close your eyes, can you picture your favorite dish? Is it a salad with aspecial dressing, or a scrumptious dessert? Can you smell the aroma wafting through thehouse? Maybe you’re far away from home and eating your favorite soul food makes you feelcloser to those you’re separated from.
Many of us have missed spending a holiday or two with our loved ones, only to find ourselvescalling to ask what they had for dinner. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same thing that is servedyear after year. There’s nothing like food to help us identify with our roots. These recipes, cherished family favorites, handed down from each generation to the next might undergosubtle changes, but there still remains a cable of unity.
It is this unity which constructs the bridge between families and generations. Food can bedescribed as the building blocks of this cultural bridge. Good food knows no boundaries. Itbecomes the great equalizer between young and old.
Here, in the kitchen the old master works hand in hand with younger family members andfriends, passing on traditional skills used in the culinary arts.
However, more is taking place than a mere transfer of information about ingredients andmixing instructions. Magic moments are created between child and elder. It becomes anopportunity for a parent to teach family values while passing the sugar and beating the eggs. Confidences can be exchanged along with the natural flow of conversation.