Residence: New York
Date of Performance/Collection: April 27, 2017
Primary Language: English
“My dad taught me this recipe, it’s not even an ethnic recipe, just a family recipe for this cool dipping sauce. You combine paprika and garlic powder and a little water and then this other ingredient I’m forgetting, but it makes for this really good, kind of dry sauce that goes really well on a hamburger or something. My dad said he picked it up from a diner he worked at, so I guess that means this recipe went from some unimportant condiment at a diner to a staple ingredient at all our family’s meals, which is pretty cool. But I’m not sure he’s telling the truth about picking up the recipe from a diner, I feel like that doesn’t make enough sense for it to be true, because I’ve worked in restaurants before and no such recipe exchanging has happened around me, but nonetheless, now that sauce recipe is a staple of our family.”
This origin story of a family recipe is super cool because it subverts two common tropes of family recipes: that they are long traditions passed down from the ancestors of the family, and that they are secrets. Not only did this family recipe start in a diner that the father of the informant just happened to work at of all places, but the informant clearly has no regard for who hears the ingredients, and they are listed very clearly above. Still, the recipe has quickly managed to become an important part of the family, so it makes me think that maybe this is the beginning of what will become a long family tradition with this family.