Hello everyone, I’m Maya Harper. Today, I want to share my journey of embracing my heritage
and identity as a multiracial teenager, through the lens of food. Food has a unique way of
bringing people together, overcoming cultural boundaries, and creating connections that go
beyond the dinner table.

From my Caucasian side, I grew up with stuffed crust pizza and hush puppies. These
quintessentially Americanized dishes symbolize comfort! The cheese oozing out of a stuffed
crust pizza, the savory fillings tucked inside a calzone, and the crispy exterior of hush puppies
encapsulate the essence of American comfort food. On the other hand, my Indian heritage
introduces me to an equally rich tapestry of flavors wrapped in dough. Samosas, kachoris, and
parathas are staples in Indian cuisine, each offering a unique blend of spices and textures. A
samosa, with its crispy, golden exterior and spiced potato filling, is a perfect snack to enjoy with
a cup of chai. Kachoris, deep-fried pastries filled with lentils or peas, are a popular street food,
known for their crunchy texture and aromatic fillings. Parathas, versatile flatbreads, can be
stuffed with various ingredients, from potatoes to paneer, making them a hearty meal or an
accompaniment to curry.

What stands out to me is the similarity in how both cultures celebrate food wrapped in dough.
Despite the differences in flavors and preparation methods, there is a common appreciation for
encasing delicious fillings within the dough. When my family gathers, we often find ourselves
bridging the gap between our cultural backgrounds through our love for food. A meal might
feature a combination of dishes, such as stuffed crust pizza alongside samosas. These culinary
fusions represent more than just food; they blend traditions and the coming together of different
backgrounds.

Maya Harper