Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with Food!

Filipino Pork Adobo. Image by AS Food studio / Shutterstock / Shutterstock S-I-L

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage month where both Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are celebrated for their rich culture and impact on American society. The month was chosen to honor the first Japanese immigrants’ arrival in the U.S. on May 7, 1843 as well as to commemorate the completion of the U.S. transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869–a structure that was built by many Chinese immigrants (“About”). However, in addition to celebrating the heritage from Asia’s continent, we also celebrate the cultures from the Pacific Islands including those in the ethnogeographic groupings of MelanesiaMicronesia, and Polynesia (“Pacific”).

Both Asian Americans and American Pacific Islanders have rich historical contributions and traditions. But one important part of their culture to highlight today is their food. Some delicious staples are already well known in America while others have yet to be discovered on a wider scale. That’s where CSN Libraries comes in.

To help teach these dishes to our CSN community (culinary students and interested home chefs alike), we have a new database called A to Z: Food America.

This online collection allows users to browse food culture information by state, region, and ethnic group. And recipes are included!

Did you know that, according to legend, steamed dumplings were invented by Zhang Zhongjian during the Han Dynasty? (“Steamed Dumplings”). Have you tried the Lumpiang (egg rolls) that are served for Filipino celebrations such as Christmas? (“Special Occasion”). If you’ve ever wanted to make Vietnamese Pho, or the Hawaiian Ahi Poke, this is the place to find it all.

Want to learn more about food, culture, or other aspects of different heritages? Ask a librarian for help using CSN library resources to research your topic of choice!

Works Cited

“About Asian/Pacific Heritage Month.” Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. https://asianpacificheritage.gov/about/. Accessed 14 Apr. 2020.

“Influence on American Cuisine.” World Trade Press, 2018. https://www-atozfoodamerica-com.ezproxy.library.csn.edu/filipino/influence-american-cuisine.html. Accessed 14 Apr. 2020.

“Pacific Islands.” Britannica Academic, Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, 20 Jul. 2016. academic-eb-com.ezproxy.library.csn.edu/levels/collegiate/article/Pacific-Islands/117350. Accessed 14 Apr. 2020.

“Special Occasion Foods.” World Trade Press, 2018. https://www-atozfoodamerica-com.ezproxy.library.csn.edu/filipino/special-occasion-foods.html. Accessed 14 Apr. 2020.

“Steamed Dumplings.” World Trade Press, 2016. https://www-atozfoodamerica-com.ezproxy.library.csn.edu/chinese/main-courses/steamed-dumplings-6ap7.html. Accessed 14 Apr. 2020.