Food stories in Toronto

Place Settings: Diasporic Food Identities (for any new readers: the exhibit I co-curated for my Masters) recently closed, and in case you missed it, the interactive wall had a-maz-ing food stories! Visitors contributed recipes, family memories, immigration stories, favourite flavours, and each in their own beautiful way demonstrated how food is so intrinsically tied to our identities and social connections.

The question:

You are home*. What are you eating?

*here, there, far away, close by, together, apart, online, in person


Here are some of my favourite responses:

Lentil shepherd’s pie – my kids could believe they were eating beef [very cheeky smiley face]



This one reminded me that food doesn’t just connect us to the people of our memories or present situation, but also to the hopes of future relationships!

Tofu tacos – grilled or fried tofu steaks with cilantro, tomato, onion, jalapeños cuddling on a tortilla bed, and blanketed by a honey lime sauce. A staple I hope to make my future wife one day ❤ <supposed to be a heart but I suck 🙂



I really loved how this card illustrates the plethora of cultural experiences all mixing together in this city:

I am Brazilian, I am 53 and I am the cook of my home. Since we moved to Toronto I started cooking Toronto: one day Brazilian (… & beans), others day [sic] Indian, Greek, Caribbean…



This card illustrates how sometimes two very different cultures can share feelings of familiarity and nostalgia over surprising connections!


Growing up in Etobicoke one of my favourite meals was giniling, a filipino rice and ground beef dish with onions, tomatos, peas and potatos [sic]. Now over 30 years later I make the dish with my husband who moved to Canada from Peru in the late ’90s. I was surprised the dish reminds him of his childhood in Peru. He just adds eggs.



This card gives us a glimpse into a childhood very unlike my own, but describing that familiar, inexplicable love children have for the magic of Nutella…

Memories of Nutella

I grew up in communist Romania so it was a special treat to get hold of a little package of Nutella (probably smuggled by some brave Romanian) Oh! The Romanian Nutella black market made many kids happy!



Thank you to everyone who shared at the exhibit! It was amazing to read them all, and continue to reflect on how food nuances our identities and relationships.

What are your own food stories?


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