How Your Ancestry Affects Your Food Choices

How does the foods you were raised with affect your food cravings and habits? "The Korean cultural food traditions and habits I grew up with definitely guide my eating preferences today," says link_930. "It isn't the most convenient, nor does it happen all the time, but I prefer having lots of variety at the table: spicy kimchee, savory marinated tofu, sharp greens, salty fried fish, crisp seaweed, fluffy egg, chewy dried radish, deeply flavored and spiced jjigae (stews) or clear and simple soups, etc."

redfish62 thinks her Cuban ancestry makes her more culinarily adventurous: "there are a lot of influences in the food I like," says redfish62, who's "more adventurous than most Americans. When I go out to eat, I always want to have the food that I have never had before. When I lived up north for a few years I noticed that many people were worried about eating a strange dish, but to me it has always been the stranger the better."

"I am of Irish ancestry, raised in DC," says mojoeater. "And I have turned away from the foods with which I was raised. I do not boil meat. Nor do I boil most vegetables. And I eat lots of ethnic foods that still scare my parents. I was raised on salt and dried parsley but now use fresh herbs, lots of chilies, and enjoy well-spiced foods. I do, however, still use real butter and milk."

mangetoutoc grew up with Hungarian family meals that took all day to prepare. "There was so much flavor and gusto in the food we grew up with, so we also wound up being very adventurous as eaters and cooks," says mangetoutoc. "The prevalence of robust spice and garlic in the cooking our Mom learned from our Nana and hers, as well as the presence of what most kids would consider 'gross,' taught us to appreciate a lot of things we probably wouldn't have otherwise. I still cook with lots of innards and funky bits and love to play with making unusual and robust flavors work together in a dish. Only now, the playground covers a huge variety of cuisines instead of just what one could easily cook with ingredients readily available in old NJ neighborhoods back in the day."

Discuss: How Does Your Ancestry/Background and Home Country's Background Affect Your Cooking/Eating?