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We eat to sustain ourselves, but in reality, food is so much more than mere nourishment. Recipes are closely intertwined with culture, identity, and traditions from all around the world.

So I asked the BuzzFeed community to tell me about the recipes that speak to their identity — the dishes that connect them to the past and remind them of home. Here are some of their responses.

1.

Sinigang

A bowl of pork sinigang.


Foxy Folksy / Via foxyfolksy.com

“My family is Filipino, and Sinigang is the recipe that always reminds me of my roots. Sinigang is a savory and sour soup. My favorite version of it is made with tamarind and pork. We eat it over rice and it just always tastes like home.” —lizardb1

Recipe: Sinigang na baboy (Pork Sinigang)

2.

Momos

Vegetable-filled dumplings with tomato chutney on the side.


The Curious Chickpea / Via thecuriouschickpea.com

“Momos are dumplings from Nepal or Tibet, and eating them instantly reminds me of childhood. Growing up, my family usually made momos once or twice a month on Fridays. We would sit together and prepare them just before dinner. I remember when I couldn’t even fold them properly. We don’t really eat momos as often anymore, but they still bring me right back to those childhood days.” —Can You Speak More sLuSh

Recipe: Tibetan Vegetable Momos With Sesame Tomato Chutney

3.

Nanaimo Bars

Several chocolate and nut nanaimo bars with creamy custard filling.


Cooking Classy / Via cookingclassy.com

“My family is from Western Canada and I grew up in Vancouver. Nanaimo bars a Canadian dessert and a a staple at most family gatherings. These three-layer bars don’t require any baking. They always remind me of summers spent at our family cabin, and whenever I get homesick I make them.” —Melody

Recipe: Nanaimo Bars

4.

Khao Poon

A bowl of Khao Poon, a Laotian noodle soup.


196 Flavors / Via 196flavors.com

“I am Hmong, and this is a true Thai-Laotian dish that I’ve eaten and adored since I was a child. It’s a noodle soup that can be made with lots of different ingredients like chicken, fish or pork. Typically, we don’t use a single recipe. Rather, we eyeball the ingredients. I’ve introduced many non-Asian friends to this dish and they all absolutely love it.” —bmay-lyy

Recipe: Khao Poon

5.

Pork and Nopales

Pork chile with cactus and refried beans.


In Mama Maggie’s Kitchen / Via inmamamaggieskitchen.com

“This dish is a combination of my Mexican heritage and my mother’s Texas/Arkansas roots that make me who I am. We make pork with nopales, which is cactus. Is very similar in taste to green beans, and the spicier you prepare it the better it tastes.” —Allierawrkins

Recipe: Pork Chile With Nopales

6.

Arroz con Gandules and Pernil


The Woks Of Life / Via thewoksoflife.com, Kitchen de Lujo / Via kitchendelujo.com

“My family is from Puerto Rico and we eat a lot of Caribbean/Latinx food. For me, Arroz con gandules (rice with peas) and slow-roasted pork is the epitome of Puerto Rican cuisine. My grandma used to always make arroz con ganudles. She was an amazing cook and shared her food with the whole neighborhood. This one dish always makes me think of my mother, my grandmother, and my Puerto Rican heritage.” —horsekream

Recipe: Pernil-Style Roast Pork

Recipe: Arroz con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)


The Woks Of Life / Via thewoksoflife.com, Kitchen de Lujo / Via kitchendelujo.com

“My family is from Puerto Rico and we eat a lot of Caribbean/Latinx food. For me, Arroz con gandules (rice with peas) and slow-roasted pork is the epitome of Puerto Rican cuisine. My grandma used to always make arroz con ganudles. She was an amazing cook and shared her food with the whole neighborhood. This one dish always makes me think of my mother, my grandmother, and my Puerto Rican heritage.” —horsekream

Recipe: Pernil-Style Roast Pork

Recipe: Arroz con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)

7.

Pani Puri

Three pieces of puri with chutney.


Spice Up The Curry / Via spiceupthecurry.com

“This Indian snack and popular street food is a puffed shell filled with seasoned potatoes or chickpeas.” —cheesyshark87

Recipe: Poori

8.

Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls

A bowl of chicken soup with carrots and matzo balls.


Tori Avey / Via toriavey.com

“My family is Ashkenazi Jewish and matzah ball soup is the recipe that connects me to my identity. We eat this as part of Shabbat dinner on Friday nights with a piece of challah on the side. It always makes me feel at home.” —tglazer

Recipe: Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls

9.

Lok Lak

Cambodian Lok Lak made with beef, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.


Marion’s Kitchen / Via marionskitchen.com

“This Cambodian dish consists of mainly beef (or any meat you want) with onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and a fried egg on top. The beef is cooked in a delicious sauce and the onions are caramelized. We typically eat it with a fried egg and rice.” —pheakthras

Recipe: Lok Lak

10.

Arepas

An arepa filled with beans and avocado.


Healthier Steps / Via healthiersteps.com

“Arepas are a food made from a dough of ground maize cooked flour. They’re popular in Venezuelan cooking, but also in other South American cuisines. They are the most amazing comfort food and can be filled with beef, chicken, cheese, black beans, avocado, or whatever you like.” —cindyc4e5ed0ee2

Recipe: Venezuelan Arepas

11.

Lefse

Several potato pancakes rolled up topped with cinnamon sugar and butter.


Not Quite Nigella / Via notquitenigella.com

“Lefse is Norwegian recipe that has been passed down through my family. It’s almost like a potato-based tortilla or flatbread. It’s a very versatile fish, and it requires some practice to master. I’m still getting better every time I attempt to cook it.” —tinka287

Recipe: Norwegian Lefse

12.

Okroshka

A bowl of chilled Russian soup (okroshka).


Natasha’s Kitchen / Via natashaskitchen.com

“I’m half Russian, and food is a huge part of how I remember by grandparents. We would start meals with zakuski, which were little bites of caviar, brown bread, smoked salmon and homemade pickles. The main course would usually be okroshka, which is a cold soup. There are tons of variations but my Deda’s version was made with buttermilk, sorrel, chopped cucumber, radish, scallion, dill, hard boiled egg, boiled potato, and beef. It gets better as it sits in the fridge, and it’s so refreshing in the summertime. I remember slurping it up as a three year old. —lydiamargaretd

Recipe: Okroshka (Russian Summer Soup)

13.

Egg Rolls and Sticky Rice

A sliced egg crêpe roll.


Foodie Baker / Via foodiebaker.com

“My family is Taiwanese, and each Christmas when visiting my grandmother in Minnesota, she taught me how to make recipes from her childhood. She showed me how to wrap egg rolls and how to stir sticky rice while teaching us different phrases in Mandarin and telling us stories of our family in Taiwan.” —cubbies

Recipe: Taiwanese Egg Crêpe Roll

14.

Bangers and Mash

Bangers and mash with green peas.


Saving Dessert / Via savingdessert.com

“My family is Irish, and making traditional foods like brown bread, bangers and mash, and colcannon is the way we keep our heritage alive. It was always very important to my great grandpa that my family remember where we come from, and this is how we do it.” —Louis28

Recipe: Bangers and Mash

15.

Ham Hocks and Beans

A slow cooker full of ham hocks and beans.


Simply Happy Foodie / Via simplyhappyfoodie.com

“My family always made this southern staple: pinto beans with ham hocks, roasted chiles, roasted jalapeños, canned green chiles, onion, and garlic. We always had this meal in our fridge growing up and so it reminds me of home. These beans go with everything like rice, eggs, or potatoes.” —Mommacat

Recipe: Slow Cooker Pinto Beans and Ham

16.

Russian Potato Salad

Olivier potato salad.


Valentina’s Corner / Via valentinascorner.com

I am of Mongolian decent and many of our traditional foods are a combination of Asian and Soviet Russian era cuisine. One meal that I always associate with my heritage is Russian potato salad (Olivier salad) and dumplings (called Buuz). —Usregch

Recipe: Olivier Salad

17.

Matzo Brei

Matzo brei on a plate being drizzled with maple syrup.


Princess Pinky Girl / Via princesspinkygirl.com

This breakfast dish made is basically the Ashkenazi version of migas. It’s made with Matzo, which is broken into small squares and briefly soaked in water, then beaten with eggs and fried in oil like scrambled eggs. It’s most often considered a passover food, but it makes a delicious breakfast or brunch any time of the year. —tdf

Recipe: Matzo Brei

18.

Hulli

A bowl of lentil and vegetable curry.


Maunika Gowardhan / Via maunikagowardhan.co.uk

“Huli is a spicy vegetable and lentil soup, which we serve with rice. South Indian food is hard to find in America so I’ve never seen it at any restaurant. I’ve only ever eaten it at home so it always reminds me of my family.” —melonette000

Recipe: Kannada Huli

19.

Fideo and Arroz con Pollo


Dora’s Table / Via dorastable.com, Pinch of Yum / Via pinchofyum.com

“My grandma’s Fideo (a noodle soup) and Arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) always reminds me of home. I’m a first-generation Mexican-American and when I think of comfort food, these two recipes immediately come to mind. —meagann4eb9b8d5b

Recipe: Sopa de Fideo

Recipe: Arroz con Pollo


Dora’s Table / Via dorastable.com, Pinch of Yum / Via pinchofyum.com

“My grandma’s Fideo (a noodle soup) and Arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) always reminds me of home. I’m a first-generation Mexican-American and when I think of comfort food, these two recipes immediately come to mind. —meagann4eb9b8d5b

Recipe: Sopa de Fideo

Recipe: Arroz con Pollo

20.

Papanasi

Romanian cheese doughnuts topped with fruit jam and whipped cream.


Where Is My Spoon / Via whereismyspoon.co

I am a Romanian Jew now living in the U.S. When my brother and I were kids we would always ask our grandma for papanasi which are basically fried cheese donuts tossed in toasted breadcrumbs, drizzled with melted butter, and dipped in sugar or jam. They are light and fluffy and delicate when made properly.” —maiat40d30191e

Recipe: Romanian Fried Cheese Doughnuts (Papanasi)

21.

Trini Sunday Lunch

Trinidadian baked chicken and rice.


Sweet and Sorrel / Via sweetandsorrel.com

My family is Trinidadian and a Trini Sunday lunch always makes me feel at home. Trinidad is influenced by lots of different cultures, and that’s reflected in the food. Our typical Sunday lunch includes vegetable fried rice, baked chicken, salad, and a side like macaroni or pastelle pie. This meal is a staple in any Trinidadian household– we cook it on Christmas.

Recipe: Trini Chicken Pelau



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