Sunday, April 9, 2017

I’d Like to Teach the World to Eat

The original title: "I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing Eat"

My wife and I live here in beautiful Seven Hills, Ohio. I like to say that we are close enough to Parma to enjoy the pierogies, without having to wear white socks with our sandals.

Ah, pierogies. Not sure if you’ve ever had the opportunity to try this ethnic delight, but when you do, don’t even hesitate.

Over the years there has been a loving rivalry between the East and West sides of Cleveland. I’ve lived in Northfield (Eastside), Akron (Southside - okay, not even connected to Cleveland, but calling it “Southside” anyway), and now Seven Hills (Westside). I have to say, one thing I absolutely LOVE about the Westside is the food. We seem to have the corner on ethnic food: Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Serbian, German, Hungarian, Italian, and a little place called Slavic Village up the road. And I’m not afraid to say I may have missed a few.

As I put fingers to keyboard (a.k.a. “pen to paper”, but who am I kidding?), the Easter holiday is rapidly approaching. My in-laws are coming to town for a visit, and all kinds of cooking and baking is taking place. On Saturday, my wife and I did a little shopping in preparation. We hit a few “ethnic” shops near us and picked up some kielbasa, ham, pierogies, and dry curd cottage cheese for paska bread.

Paska is a sweet bread with a cheese filling and raisins. At one of the bakeries we stopped at (the chocolate cake looked too good to pass up) they had mini paska breads for sale. When we pointed them out the lady at the counter asked us if we wanted any paska bread. My wife replied, “I’m baking my own.” The lady gave us a big smile.

Which brings me to the purpose for this post.

There is a lot of talk about immigration, refugees, and just how many is too many. There is a concern with people coming to America and not “assimilating”.

I’m going to approach this as a “foodie”.

I say, "Let them come here and add to the beauty that is America."

Yes, we are a melting pot, but we are also a buffet - full of many varieties and flavors. And every new ethnicity that comes only adds to that which makes us so delicious.

And yes, I believe everyone who comes should partake in the basics that make America function - including working hard and paying taxes. No one should come here and expect to be a freeloader.

But we who call ourselves Americans should not live in fear of losing our American culture. Because, without all of the different ethnicities, we HAVE NO CULTURE!

One of my co-workers went on vacation this week to Dallas, Texas. I told her to have a good time and eat well. There are foods that are local to where she is going that either you can’t find here, or if you do they don’t taste quite the same.

Ever wonder why a New York bagel does not taste like a New York bagel if made anywhere but New York? I say it’s the water. I also say it’s the atmosphere of eating a New York bagel IN New York.

Should everyone who comes here learn English? I say yes. But again, I’m selfish. I don’t know how to ask, “May I have seconds?” in any other language.

© Emittravel 2017

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