The Participant is noted as CM. I am marked as LJ.
LJ: What type of food is served at your parties back home?
CM: Before I used to live in the, uh, Ecuadorian neigborhood…before it got really gang infested….ha. But my mom used to cook a lot for the community. Um, but we have typical um rice, ensalada [salad]. And we have this thing called Ornado. Its like a leg of pork, but its like …its like the same way that you do rotisserie chicken, but with a leg of pork. And it has a lot of Ecuadorian spices. We also have this thing called fritada. Its fried pig fat, which is also a staple of Ecuador. We also have mote–its the grains that’s in pozole [Mexican chicken stew with hominy]. We mix it with different vegetables…and yea…
LJ: Haha thanks. Who is food cooked for?
CM: We have a lot of people who haven’t been able to visit Ecuador. And yea we make it for everyone who can’t go back.
I asked the participant to tell me about what it was like to grow up Ecuadorian in Chicago. She touched on parties and food–above is the food aspect of it.
The participant is of Ecuadorian descent and has lived in Chicago most of her life. She is, at the time of the recording, a first year student at the University of Southern California.
This shows so much connection and love for her community. Food helps preserve the culture that was, in a way, left behind in Ecuador. It serves as not only a connection to the past, but also continues to transmit the culture from generation to generation as the children learn how to host these parties and cook the food.
It is reinforced by the idea that the food itself carries a lot of cultural meaning, especially for those that are disconnected from Ecuador.