UMD Students incorporate their cultural heritage into Thanksgiving
American, Chinese and Vietnamese food fill sophomore Mandy Lu’s Thanksgiving plate.
“But I don’t let them touch,” Lu says.
Lu celebrates her different cultural backgrounds because her aunt is married to a caucasian man. Having both these cultures is something Lu appreciates, especially on Thanksgiving. “You can only eat so much turkey before you get sick of it,” Lu said.
“We’ll have our typical turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing,” Lu said. “But then we’ll also have our stir fry noodles, fried rice and cream cheese wontons.”
“I really like the stir fried noodles because Asian food is pretty darn good,” Lu said. “It’s nice to have a variety to eat.”
Along with Chinese food, Lu also eats the authentic Vietnamese dish Pho. Pho has rice noodles and poured over it are beef slices and beef broth with cilantro, basil, lime juice and bean sprouts.
Maria Devine, a junior, was born in Russia. She moved to Minnesota when she was a child. On Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season her family buys Russian candies from small local European markets.
“It’s usually candy and cookies and then we make Borscht and Blini,” Devine said. “It really reminds me of home.”
Borscht is a soup made primarily from beets and commonly includes meat, potatoes, and other starchy vegetables.
Blini is a thick wheat pancake but isn’t as sweet as pancakes from Ihop. Devine also eats Pelmeni and Russian potato sausage on Thanksgiving.
Yeng Thao, a freshman, eats all traditional Hmong food on Thanksgiving. Most Hmong dishes are inspired by Chinese, Vietnamese and Laos cuisine.
Thao’s favorite dishes are Kapoon and Kapia. Kapoon is a traditional Laos soup. It’s spicy noodle soup with fish or chicken and includes spicy curry coconut milk. There are many different versions of this traditional recipe. Thoa’s favorite is with lots of red curry paste and salmon and vegetables.