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While my family is native to the United States for two generations, I trace my family’s origins to Guayaquil, Ecuador when my mom makes empanadas for dinner. Empanadas are a Hispanic comfort food made of pastry shells with filling inside. Usually, in my family and culturally, empanadas are filled with beef, but they can also have chicken, ham and cheese and improvised non-traditional fillings. For my family, empanadas come from my maternal great-grandmother. She brought the recipe to New York City in the late 1960s with my grandma Grace and grand aunt. My mother grew up with her grandma making empanadas for lunch or dinner; she never kept recipes as she believed in cooking from memory. She was content, creating different variations of empanadas from her own taste, each batch tasted slightly different. Having enjoyed empanadas throughout her childhood, the recipe was passed down directly to my mom through her taste buds. With her own personal touch, I now enjoy delicious empanadas and a memory of my family’s past. 

Place(s): New York City
Year: 1963

– FC

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant