Plaza Voices: Food for Thought

The holidays are over, but the food hangover isn't. I think about food a lot, but especially this time of year. The holidays are about my mother's cinnamon rolls and my mother-in-law's tamales. LOTS of cinnamon rolls. LOTS of tamales. Back to work the next week, I needed something light. My friend and I headed out for poke. The tiny storefront had microgreens growing on the counter and three dogs out front. There was nowhere to sit--the dog owners took up all the stools. "For here or to go?" the chef asked. 

The next week, after a morning meeting and no breakfast, I needed pho. I rallied my team. We knew where we wanted to go but not what it was called. Pho 96? 95? "I'll text you when we get there," I told my friend. Inside, we listened to the best pop songs from around the world and ordered "medium," which means "huge." 

Now I'm dying for Ethiopian food. Which reminds me of the last time I had it, during our New Americans Day celebration with the Clyfford Still Myseum, back in September. I know, three months and no injera? Not okay. That celebration was catered by Comal Heritage Food Incubator. Comal is an amazing restaurant created by Focus Points Family Resource Center. They offer immigrant and refugee women a place to hone their entrepreneurial and chef skills, and the rest of us the opportunity to eat the proceeds. Currently they serve cuisine from Syria, Ethiopia, and many regions of Mexico. I want to eat my way through all the regions of Mexico.

Growing up in a German-American family from from the midwest, saurkraut and sausage were de rigueur, and my mom made a mean pie crust, but I didn't get a lot of exposure to other regional or international food. I want better for my kids, though all they eat right now is pasta. Did you know humans can survive on just pasta? I have a five-year-old to prove it. I want to give them hummus and dolma, bok choi and calmari, sashimi and samosas. I'm not a great cook, though, so it's good there are so many excellent restaurants around here.

To support diverse chefs in Denver, check out Comal, the Spring Cafe, Food Bridge Marketplace, The Sun Valley Kitchen and Community Center, and the many independent restaurants and food trucks all around town. There are lots of regular meetups like Breaking Bread Together and International Foods and Cultures that bring diverse communities together for meals. And of course head to your local library branch to wander the stacks of cookbooks. You're sure to find something new.

Plazas are an open community space where people from all over the world connect with people, information, and resources, building Denver’s global community. Come to practice a language, prepare for citizenship, pursue your goals, and create your future. Whatever you’re doing, we can help! Please see our web page for more information.

 

Written by Amma R. on January 7, 2019