What's on Your Plate?
International cuisine makes its way to traditional Thanksgiving meal
November 22, 2011
Tapas and turkey stuffed with prunes and chorizo are not considered traditional Thanksgiving fixings, but for Asuncion Arnedo-Aldrich, a native of Spain, they’re the perfect way to incorporate Spanish cuisine in to an American holiday.
“Traditional holidays are important in my family as a way to pass on culture,” she says. “Since my family is bicultural, we have an interesting time learning about certain holidays like Thanksgiving, because it doesn’t exist in my country.”
Arnedo-Aldrich and her husband Mark, associate professor of Spanish, have three daughters: Alma, 22; Cristina, 21; and Daniela, 16, who grew up on traditional Thanksgiving meals paired with popular Spanish ingredients like brussel sprouts with chestnuts, which are abundant in Spain at this time of the year.
The Aldrich family feast typically starts with tapas–light appetizers that are a popular part of Spanish cuisine– including tortilla española (Spanish omelet), olives, roasted red peppers in garlic sauce, jamón Serrano (cured ham from Spain), cheeses and empanadillas (stuffed pastries).
And for dessert, Arnedo-Aldrich bakes pies–lots of pies. “Everyone has their favorite–apple, pumpkin, mince meat pie with ice cream. We love this tradition. It makes me think of Christmas in my country,” she says.
Fresh baked baguettes are a staple in France and at Thanksgiving for Associate Professor of French Lucile Duperron and her family. A native of France, Duperron says making bread was a basic skill that pioneers needed to have. “Plus, you break bread as a sign of friendship,” she adds.
Duperron, who is married to American-born Marc Mastrangelo, associate professor of classical studies, says her family blends their cultures by feasting on turkey and dinde aux marrons, a chestnut side dish, as well as good wines and cheeses. For dessert, Duperron serves pumpkin pie with an île flottante, which is meringue floating on a vanilla custard.
Continue the conversation, swap a recipe or post pics of your feast. Visit Dickinson’s Facebook page and share what’s on your plate at Thanksgiving.