Welcome to Our WNY Table

By Edible Western NY / Photography By Jill Bornand | Last Updated June 06, 2017
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Our WNY Table

Whether or not you observe the sacraments of a particular religion, food remains the foundation of gathering, where family and friends meet to feed our bodies, to catch up on news of the day and to reconnect with those whose recipes and traditions we’ve shared.

In planning this summer’s afternoon Interfaith Lecture Series for Chautauqua Institution’s Week Nine, Maureen Rovegno, associate director of the Department of Religion, sought to explore the relationship between food and faith. She wrote, “All cultures have developed rituals around food and eating that shape the life patterns and rhythms of family and communal life, and religions also utilize food for spiritual nourishment in sacred meals, religious dictums for self-discipline, and for the formation of communal identity.”

I talked to Maureen about what she calls the “Ministry of the Table”: the personal, communal and family rituals we follow to break bread together that feed our hunger as well as our need for relationships and remembering. Whether or not you observe the sacraments of a particular religion, food remains the foundation of gathering, where family and friends meet to feed our bodies, to catch up on news of the day and to reconnect with those whose recipes and traditions we’ve shared.

In the following stories, three regional writers who also happen to be food lovers talk about food, traditions, family and community from their personal experiences. Their very different styles and interpretations reflect the diversity of guests and customs at our regional WNY table. It is my hope that their narratives start conversations about your experiences and that we, as a community, continue to share our stories with neighbors and friends.

Where have all the Pizza Rustica and Pizza Grana Gone?

A meditation on fading food traditions and family.

Swedish Fare

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When the Swedes began immigrating to Jamestown in the 1850s, along with their reputation for physical strength and woodworking skills, they brought cultural traditions and recipes from home. Today,...

Indian Food is Beyond Just Curry

Jasmine's table set for a family gathering.
A dinner menu at our home might feature shepherd’s pie, kielbasa, pot roast, rice, and dishes seasoned with spices not necessarily found in most Western New York kitchens. My kitchen has much of...
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