‘Celebrations Of Thanksgiving: Cuban Seasonings’ by Ana Menéndez


Celebrations Of Thanksgiving: Cuban Seasonings by Ana Menéndez, 2004

The magic trick:

Using food as a lens to look at other, larger themes

Happy Thanksgiving! Today’s story looks at Thanksgiving from the point of view of Cuban immigrants. The story, on the surface, is about food. It even has a recipe at the end. But it’s not really about food at all. It merely uses food and Thanksgiving holiday traditions as a means to consider immigration, family, identity and the passage of time. And that’s quite a trick on Menéndez’s part.

The selection:

Those were happy days, colored as they were by the brief honeyed hour of childhood, and when I look back on them now I have a strange sense of them having taken place not in America, but in the Cuba of my parents’ memories. But change, always inevitable and irrevocable, came gradually. As usual, it was prefigured by food. One year someone brought a pumpkin pie from Publix. It was pronounced inedible. But a wall had been breached.


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