A New Podcast Brings Family Recipes to Life

By: Kelly E. Spivey

My Family Recipe is a new podcast from Heritage Radio Network and Food52 that takes a close look at the stories behind such recipes.

Most of us have them - recipes and dishes that have appeared on our tables for as long as we can remember. Whether they came from a recipe card, a well-worn cookbook, or were simply the result of watching, tasting and learning, they hold a special place in our lives. Family recipes have the power to bring our loved ones close, ease difficult conversations, and help us find our place in the world. Sometimes we don’t realize how important they are until we’re in our kitchens trying to recreate them. 

The podcast is reimagining the eponymous Food52 essay series and bringing its pages to life. Started in 2018, the Food52 essay series My Family Recipe shares cherished heirloom recipes — and the stories behind them — from voices across the world of food. The podcast's host, Arati Menon, is a senior editor at Food52 and was also the editor of the original My Family Recipe series. She talks with guests from across the world of food to discover the deeper meaning behind delicious dishes passed down through generations. Enjoy excerpts read by the author, additional interviews with their loved ones, and cookalongs, and get to know the story behind the story. 

From Arati Menon: “I grew up literally hanging off the petticoat-tails of three generations of Indian matriarchs who used food to speak their language of love. As a result, I’ve always reached for the human side of recipes and food traditions. It’s my privilege to share the stories and layered histories behind our community members’ most treasured recipes. There’s something so magical about hearing a story told in the voice of the person telling. Selfishly, I’ve waited for the opportunity to meet these wonderful writers, have conversations with them, expand on the depth and breadth of the storytelling.”

In the first season, My Family Recipe features the column’s authors, bringing together families, exploring culinary traditions, and bringing the flavors of their past into the present. In the first three episodes, listeners will hear what it was like to grow up in the revered Chez Panisse from Fanny Singer and Alice Waters, find meaning through loss (and chocolate cake) with Lisa Ruland, and navigate the significance of an unclaimed cultural heirloom with Jenny Dorsey. 

Later in the season, Khalid El Khatib will take us into the kitchen to cook a beloved family recipe from his Iowa roots, and find forgiveness with chef Nyanyika Banda, as she learns to cook her father’s traditional Malawian dish of chicken curry with nsima. Listeners will find comfort through loss with Gary Schiro’s Sunday sauce and Joelle Zarcone’s baked ziti, and explore the intersection of identity and food with Lavanya Narayanan and Giselle Krachenfels. 

Listen to My Family Recipe on HRN’s website or follow wherever you listen to podcasts (Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS). Plus stream them below.

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