As you bite into your lomo saltado, history is the last thing on your mind. Lomo Saltado is a Peruvian dish made up of strips of sirloin steak marinated in vinegar, soy sauce and spices, stir fried with red onions, parsley and tomatoes. It is a cross-cultural dish with a story. A look at the ingredients makes apparent Peru’s rich history of Chinese immigration to the country which led to the creation of a delicious Chinese Peruvian fusion.
This Sunday, The Women’s Building is excited to host in our space the Asian Culinary Forum’s Asian + Latino@ 2012 Symposium: Exploring Asian and Latin American Cross-Cultural Foods and Experiences. The Asian Culinary Forum fosters the exploration and enjoyment of Asian foods from around the world by connecting and sharing the stories, recipes, traditions and innovations of these diverse communities. This year’s forum focuses on Asian and Latin@ dishes.
This particular fusion may seem distant and occurring somewhere abroad but it is actually found in our own backyards. Thy Tran of the Asian Culinary Forum explains that California’s Central Valley has historically supplied many Asian and Latin@ immigrants with jobs therefore creating opportunities for inter-racial communities, resulting in the finest food exploration and production. Thy Tran adds how Korean BBQ tacos are viewed as gourmet by some but for a Korean-Mexican and/or a Korean American growing up in a Mexican community or exposed to Mexican culture in California, these tacos are considered “home cooking”. Colorlines.org’s article, “Asian American Chefs Dish Out Their Favorite Recipes” adds “It’s about creating a new and fun table of food that is reflective of personal cross-cultural experiences.”
What is most intriguing about this year’s focus is that it not only captures history but is history in the making. Taking a look at our neighborhood, the Mission District, grocery stores have ethnic selections with products from a variety of cultures. The Women’s Building Immigrant Food Pantry has also seen a shift in the ethnic populations in the last few years from predominately Latino immigrants in 2008 to largely Asian immigrants in 2012. The Women’s Building has responded to this shift by offering our first Nutrition Class taught in Cantonese.
WHAT: The Asian Culinary Forum “Asian and Latin American Cross-Cultural Cooking”
Artist, scholars, and writers will ponder the topic of food and identity shedding new light on the age old question, “Are we what we eat?” Join the Asian Culinary Forum for food for thought and a sip of wine and light refreshments. Ticket price: $15. Buy tix here.
WHEN: Sunday, Sept 23 from 2-4 p.m.
WHERE: The Women’s Building’s Audre Lorde Room
Written by Daisy Isarraras