Thursday, October 13, 2011

Immigrant Farmers & Their Immigrant Foods Invade America!

In the New York City farmers' market system there are a handful of immigrant farmers who grow vegetables popular in their native countries that are rarely cultivated here. Fellow countrymen appreciate the tastes of home while others unfamiliar with the foods get to experience new flavors, like I have with sweet potato leaves and green luobo radishes.

This rhythm is playing out elsewhere in the country, as depicted in an article in The New York Times earlier this week:

"At the Saturday farmer’s market in City Heights [San Diego], a major portal for refugees, Khadija Musame, a Somali, arranges her freshly picked pumpkin leaves and lablab beans amid a United Nations of produce, including water spinach grown by a Cambodian refugee and amaranth, a grain harvested by Sarah Salie, who fled rebels in Liberia. Eaten with a touch of lemon by Africans, and coveted by Southeast Asians for soups, this crop is always a sell-out.

"Among the regular customers at the New Roots farm stand are Congolese women in flowing dresses, Somali Muslims in headscarves, Latino men wearing broad-brimmed hats and Burundian mothers in brightly patterned textiles who walk home balancing boxes of produce on their heads."
Click here to read the entire article.

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