What Families of Immigrants Are Grilling This 4th of July
Independence Day can have a special significance for people who immigrated to the U.S., and for their children. But the holiday still involves food.
I spent sweltering summers and Fourth of July celebrations in the cooler Pacific Northwest as a kid, lighting sparklers and sitting on my mom’s roof till the sun went down and the fireworks came out. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, sodas, and watermelon. But that’s about it.
It may have been my level of assimilation and somewhat of a detachment from my heritage that I barely noticed that we didn’t make an effort to prepare a Chinese dish.
Classic Meat for the Grill
Claudia Valladares, whose parents came from Mexico to East Texas, where she currently lives, says she and her family have always celebrated Independence Day with charcoal-grilled carne asada, a marinated skirt steak with garlic, herbs, and spices.
Not Just Your Typical American Barbecue
Renata Castro, an immigration lawyer originally from Brazil, will be celebrating the Fourth of July with churrasco, or Brazilian barbecue, at her vacation property in Clayton, Ga.
Shrimp on the Barbecue
Cindy Li, a daughter of immigrants from northeast China, grew up eating a mix of Chinese and American grilled foods including spiced grilled prawns served alongside a cool cucumber salad for the Fourth of July.
Thai Mu Kratha
“Thai culture is still very present within me,” says Paul Vongjalorn, who moved with his parents from Thailand to Guam, then to Tampa, Fla., and eventually to Spokane, Wash. “But we have embraced the American holidays and do celebrate the Fourth of July as well, but with a twist.”