Yesterday, one of my favorite groups gathered at a friend’s house to enjoy American Southwest foods and drinks.
This is our International Dinner Group, which meets about every 2-3 months to enjoy cuisines from different cultures and to celebrate our diversity as Americans. The idea came about as some of us were enjoying a happy hour together and talking about our favorite ethnic foods. We had taken for granted how many of us had come from bi-cultural (some tri-cultural) backgrounds. This was a way of highlighting our diversity in delicious and fun ways, and an excuse to get together more often.
We started with a paella night, where a few friends made their favorite recipes and shared with everyone. Eventually, it evolved to different hosts sharing their favorite foods from their cultures, such as Indian, Russian, Korean, American southern BBQ, Persian, Mexican, Vietnamese, among others). We are truly blessed to have such friends of diverse backgrounds with good culinary skills.
Sometimes, we do mix things up and have themed nights where everyone can contribute. Recently, we had a International Street Foods Night, where people brought their favorite street foods from all over the world. That was an amazing evening that perhaps even Anthony Bourdain would have enjoyed!
People naturally bond over food. Mixing it up with home-made meals from different parts of the world just makes it that much better, and helps forge even better relationships.
I hope that others will consider starting their own International Dinner Groups. I think it would make for a better, more interesting, delicious, and perhaps even a more tolerant world.