The informant is a 19 year old Filipino female. She lives with her mother in Toledo, Ohio and has one older sister. She was raised Roman Catholic. She is currently a student at a university in Southern California. The informant is the co-president of the club volleyball team at her university.
Chicken adobo is a traditional Filipino dish, although there is a lot of variation in the exact ingredients depending on the region of the Philippines. The informant’s mother made chicken adobo for her and her sister all throughout their childhood. The informant saw her mother making the dish as a child, but never learned to make it until she went college. The informant specifically asked her mother for the recipe because she missed having the dish. At home her mother makes the dish about twice a month. The informant herself makes it at least once a week. The informant uses prepared adobo seasoning for her chicken because it saves time and doesn’t contain chiles, which she does not like. Her mother makes her own seasoning, including cloves, chiles, garlic, salt, pepper, etc. The informant’s mother fries the chicken pieces until crispy. The informant herself prefers to bake the chicken.
Recipe: Take chicken pieces, thighs, drumsticks, breasts, etc. Marinate in soy sauce, lemon juice and adobo seasonings. Place chicken pieces on a piece of foil on a baking sheet. Bake until done. Serve with rice.
Analysis: This account illustrates how important foodways are in constructing ideas about home and identity. The informant never learned or tried to learn how to cook chicken adobo until she was separated from her home and family. After being away from home, she purposefully learned how to cook this dish from her mother. Now, living away from home and the seat of her childhood identity, she cooks the dish much more often even than her mother did at home. It is likely her desire to learn how to cook chicken adobo, and the frequency with which she prepares it, represents a need to reestablish ties with her home, family, and cultural background. That she associates this dish with her home is reinforced by the fact that she specifically requests her mother cook this dish every time she spends time at home. For the informant, it is this foodway that reconnects her with her childhood and family.