“From kindergarten to seventh grade, my abuela packed my lunch. (My family is from Spain and Cuba.) While most of my meals weren’t outrageous, they weren’t the regular PB&J sandwiches or Lunchables. There was one thing, though, that was like an orange soup. Some sort of animal fat made it greasy. I can’t remember much about it except that it was orange from coagulated fats, smelled strong, and tasted amazing. Of course, I didn’t win any friends by opening a unicorn Lisa Frank thermos full of this pungent, strange soup. I’ve begged my mom to help me figure it out, but we don’t know what it was. I would give anything to taste Abuela’s cooking one more day.”
“I don’t have kids, so it’s easy for me to be an armchair quarterback, but I think food diversity is great. I also think there’s a lot of processed food out there. I can’t judge anyone who packs that for their kids; I don’t know their circumstances.
But if I had the opportunity, I would continue sharing different foods. Food is a human necessity, and it’s a great way to learn about each other. I also loved visiting my friends’ houses and trying foods from their cultures. I still make the bitter melon soup my Taiwanese friend’s mom made when it was hot outside, and my Arab friend brings over a gorgeous, spiced rice and lamb dish every Nochebuena.”