iReport: Feeding a heart that's hungry for home
July 7th, 2011
08:00 AM ET
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Food says so much about where you’ve come from, where you’ve decided to go, and the lessons you’ve learned. It’s geography, politics, tradition, belief and so much more and this week, we invite you to dig in and discover the rich, ever-evolving taste of America in 2011. The week will culminate with a Secret Supper in New York City, and Eatocracy invites you to participate online starting Monday July 11th at 6:30 p.m. E.T.

In 2011, food is no longer tied to a specific location. Thanks to the internet and an explosion of restaurants with food from around the globe (not to mention good old family tradition), CNN iReport's Cultural Census shows that you can eat any kind of food you want without traveling far.

Turkish cuisine is no problem for Chad Tew of Evansville, Indiana.

Tew explains, “Although normally there is more rice than bread in a Turkish meal, it still is traditional and Turkish. Two slices of homemade bread, one with a walnut, tomato paste, cheese, garlic, oil mixture and the other with fresh honey; poğaça, which is a traditional pastry filled with feta cheese; cannellini beans with hard boiled egg slices; pita bread and cheese; and black olives. Turkish hot tea in a glass (be sure to hold it by the rim of the glass so you don't burn your fingers!).”

He told us, “I love the variety of food that exists in the United States. I think the food we eat says a lot about who we are, but it also places us in our time. I can't help but think that what we eat, day in and day out, is part of a bigger picture. I wanted to put my dinner into perspective for me and for others.”

iReporter Janie Lambert is the perfect example of social media expanding one’s horizons. Fellow iReporter Janet Bollero is staying in her home recently, and has been sharing some of her favorite recipes: “She is American Italian and Argentine descent. We are enjoying all the different dishes from Italy, Argentina and Jim's Caribbean specialties.”

Lambert says about the video shot on one particular April evening, “Janet prepared polenta cooked in garlic, with added Mozzarella and Romano cheese, homemade sauce as well a homemade New York Style Pizza crust and all with some anchovies. Not real sure about the anchovies.”

Lambert also gave us the update for Wednesday night’s menu: homemade biscotti.

It took Oregonian Sarah Stick from about an hour to make eggplant moussaka. She says she likes to experiment various ethnic cuisines.

She describes this dish as “total comfort food.”

Traditional Salvadoran tamales are the perfect holiday meal, according to Roberto Ayala Franco in Boston, Massachusetts.

San Diegan Nia Gamboa’s family serves Filipino food for dinner. Their typical meal includes sinigang, adobo, menudo and lumpia.

“When my family and I want to do some home American cooking we usually cook either steak or pasta,” she says.

“Since my dad is in the Navy we have the benefits of going to the base and buying our food there which is called the Commissary, it's usually cheaper and we don't have to pay tax. That's where my mom buys the ingredients to make us steak. We have an air force base five minutes away from our house. And a block away from our house we have an Asian market called Seafood City, where we buy our huge sacks of rice.”

Is there a taste of home you cannot live without? Share your photos and participate in the CNN iReport cultural census. We can’t wait to see what you have for dinner.

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Filed under: Cooking • Cultural Identity • iReport • Make • Recipes

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. mikey

    i would like a tamale right now. lol never tried it but always wanted to

    July 8, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  2. tastebuds100

    to all the idiots like joe_nyc offense...but I would love to chop u up and cook u well done ...maybe your fam2...but before that maybe have a lil necrof that is flavor for your dumbasss

    July 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • joe_nyc

      lol, very entertaining post. thanks.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  3. ojwefo

    it is abput presentation when it is for an article

    July 7, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  4. joe_nyc

    no offense, but all of those foods like nasty. the presentation is just's like they just took a splotch of undercooked food and plopped it on a plate.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Abby

      Don't you know? Home cooking isn't about appearance....

      July 7, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • ojwefo

      It looks like they actually tried to present well. The problem is they areso nasty it was not possible.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • M

      You are all idiots and I am offended at your lack of intelligence. Try branching out and discovering new things. Fools!

      July 7, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • justjoan

      One man's "nasty" is another man's delicious. Nothing is nastier (to me) than fried pork brains, which is a staple in restaurants in south St. Louis. Or, for that matter, stewed squirrel, which often was the only meat we had in my "country: home. I just couldn't eat it.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • MCD

      no offense, but you seem like a thick-skulled, dimwit. the little amount of thought you put into your comment is just shocking's like you just vomited up your first visceral reaction and plopped it on a message board.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:56 am |
      • joe_nyc

        lol, thank you MCD. actually it's very well thought out. I tried to analyze the food from various's just so un-appetizing that I wouldn't eat it even for free. home cooking is about taste and food that supposed to look delicious...not undercooked and messy like a toddlers plate.

        July 7, 2011 at 11:10 am |
      • MCD

        joe_nyc: Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. The pics posted won't win any food beauty contests, but they look perfectly fine to eat (to me). I'd love to see what your home-cooked food looks like, haha. iReport?

        July 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
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