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A Passover seder in Iowa

When Good Friday and the first night of Passover coincided several years ago, the Rosenblum family and a minister friend of theirs from Iowa decided to celebrate together. The New York Rosenblums decamped to Emmetsburg, population 3,904 at the last census, where they were to prepare a traditional Jewish seder for their friend’s congregation. And …

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Brisket for a hunger the size of Texas

When Katie Younger left Texas nearly a decade ago, she had no idea she was leaving brisket too. “I was shocked,” she says about the ignorance surrounding large slabs of fat-blanketed beef. “I just thought it was such a common meal for people to have.” In New England, beef brisket most often shows up as …

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Bear meat sometimes a hard sell

Alyssa Haak grew up in Wisconsin and remembers the day her dad served bear meat. “Nope,” she said after one bite, pushing it aside. “Nope, I’m done.” Haak admits that she was a pasta-with-butter kind of picky eater, but just the same, her reaction to bear was not unusual. Today, even well-traveled palates such as …

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Chef Erik Bruner-Yang serves noodles with a story

Erik Bruner-Yang, 28. watched his Taiwanese mother and grandparents cook, and it made an impression. He took what he learned in their kitchens, mixed it with a good dose of contemporary American sensibility and opened a Taiwanese-style noodle shop on H Street N.E. in Washington, D.C. “I try to honor the traditions of my family …

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Meatballs trace a path from Romania to Brooklyn

  At the New Year, it’s natural to reflect on how you got where you are. For Michael Harlan Turkell, a host on the food-oriented Heritage Radio Network, the culinary journey started at a diner in Connecticut and ended at a Latin bodega in Brooklyn. Turkell’s grandmother, called Gaee, came from Romania and opened a …

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Christmas cookies with a deeper purpose

Harry Rosenblum doesn’t celebrate Christmas. But that doesn’t stop his Jewish family from making thousands of Christmas cookies every year. What started in the 1940s as an entrepreneurial enterprise has blossomed into a family tradition that brings relatives together from around the country. With the simple kneading of sugar, flour and butter, the Rosenblums connect …

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Baklava by the bushel is a Christmas treat

Every fall, legions of volunteers at Holy Transfiguration Church in McLean, Va., begin baking sweets to sell for Christmas. Not just any sweets, but the delicate, rose-scented confections many of the congregation brought with them from the Middle East. Full disclosure: Holy Transfiguration is my church. And I am occasionally among the battalion of volunteers …

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Puerto Rican Thanksgiving means pork, not turkey

  Lourdes Miranda grew up in a large Puerto Rican family in Utica, N.Y., on the third floor of an apartment building that her parents owned – and her relatives lived in. “Every floor was related,” Miranda says. “Thanksgiving dinner was very busy.” And very Puerto Rican. Roasted pork, called “lechon,” was the star on …

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Cheese pies and kebabs keep Armenian heritage alive

For 65 years, the St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church has been holding The Armenian Fall Food Festival in the basement of their church in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. There in the serving line, women parish members dish out steaming lamb kebab, fresh tepsi boreg—phyllo dough stuffed with feta and mozzarella, and heaping …

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When collard greens go Indian

It’s a long way from the Indian city of Delhi to Manhattan, but Aurvi Sharma has found that food can help bring her home. When Sharma moved to New York City with her husband about two years ago she was very homesick. To capture the scents and sensibilities of India, she regularly pulled out her …

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