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Julia Leonardi // 9.7.2020

All three of these readings were genuinely enjoyable. All three chapters really highlight Twitty’s relationship with his own culture and history, but through food and cooking. It is so interesting to see history taught through lenses opposed to the traditional way. Food is such an important part of culture, and reading about it, and the traditions that come with it, can be such an intimate way to learn history. “Your plate is your flag.”

Books like these make it so much easier for the reader to connect to the message. Food and culture in food is such a relatable thing, and something that most people, if not all, experience. It makes it so I feel more connected to the author and I can understand him in such a human to human way. So many times, reading these stories, it is so hard to conceptualize because these things happened so long ago and sometimes learning about history can feel very disconnected and far away. This type of writing makes the whole difference for me. Reading about Twitty’s hardships, especially about his inability to find his family’s ancestry feels so much more personal now. I can feel how lucky and privileged I am to be able to trace down my great great grandma’s recipe for pāo de queijo, whilst Twitty and many others cannot. This is something that is not talked about enough within our community. It is also something that I believe should be governmentally funded. Finding where you come from is vital to your identity, and to see people being robbed of that and nothing being done to repair that is unacceptable.

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