Heritage Cooking

In this series, authors and cooks delve deliciously into the stories and secrets behind their favorite recipes. We explore the traditions and origins behind iconic foods from around the world, and share recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation among families and communities. Learn to make Mexican tamales, the Filipino ginger-chicken soup tinola, Vietnamese-style Brussels sprouts, Southern barbecue and mac and cheese, and much more.

Most Recent

Velvety Winter Squash Soup with Smoky Garlic Custard
In the French countryside, soup is a main event, brought to the table in vintage soup tureens passed down in families. Each element of this winter squash soup—the sunset color, the silky texture, the smoky undertone—evokes winter in the south of France, inspired by Julia Child's kitchen. This is weekend cooking, when you could roast the squash and garlic the evening before, prepare the soup and custard the next day, and stay warm by the fire. Serve this soup with warm, crusty bread to mop up every delicious drop.
Cauliflower Ven Pongal with Tomato Chutney
Ven pongal is an Indian dish of rice and dal, seasoned with tadka, a tempering mixture of spices cooked in ghee. In this version, riced cauliflower is used in place of white rice to make it lower in carbs. Served in South India on its namesake holiday in January, it is also delicious anytime. If you want to serve it like shown in the photo, lightly pack the ven pongal in a measuring cup and unmold it on the plate. Recipe adapted with permission from The Vegetarian Reset by Vasudha Viswanath, The Collective Book Studio, January 2023.
Cranberry-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
In this installment of Diaspora Dining , Jessica B. Harris' series on foods of the African diaspora, the author and historian rings in some changes to the Christmas traditions of her own childhood.
Panzerotti can be described as little fried calzones and are found all over Italy. This recipe produces panzerotti in the style typical of those found in Bari, Italy—crispy and golden on the outside and pillowy on the inside, with a traditional marinara-and-mozzarella filling.
These German Christmas Cookies Are On My Cookie Platter Every Year
There is a strong baking tradition in Germany. And at Christmastime, that tradition is expressed through platters of cookies, like jam-filled sandwich cookies, chocolate hazelnut thumbprint cookies and more.
Apricot Rugelach
These rugelach get their sweetness from a filling of dried apricots and apricot preserves accented with a touch of ginger. We added some whole-wheat flour to the dough, but it's still extra flaky.

Celebrating Foods of the African Diaspora

Migration Meals: How African American Food Transformed the Taste of America
During the Great Migration, millions of African Americans left the South and settled in the rest of the United States, bringing rich culinary traditions with them—sweet potato pie, black-eyed peas, mac and cheese, barbecue and so much more.
This Curried Cabbage Dish Will Transport You to the Eastern Coast of Kenya
In this installment of our series on foods of the African diaspora, Jessica B. Harris, Ph.D., notes that curry is the connection in this simple dish from Kenya.