Mamá's Mangú

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

One of the most classic Dominican dishes is mangú y salami, huevo, y queso frito con aguacate. Mangú has always made me especially nostalgic because Mamá (my grandmother, Rafaela) was always making it. Growing up, I lived with Mamí (my mother, Brenda), and Mamá on Long Island. In the 1980s, Mamá moved to the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan to join her mother and my grandfather, Papá Daniel, and to find a job continuing to support their teenage daughters, my mamí and my tía (aunt) Ana - something that the historically poor Dominican economy would not allow them to do. When Mamí graduated from college, her and my tía applied for visas to enter the U.S. and were approved several years later, joining the rest of our family; however, that same year, Papá Daniel retired from his job in Manhattan and moved back to my mamí and tía’s childhood home in Santiago, staying there since.   Growing up, Mamí, Mamá, and I took trips back to Santiago to visit Papá Daniel and explore the city. In recent years, however, Mamá has been flying back to the Dominican Republic, staying there for months at a time, to take care of him as he ages. Last September, Mamá had to fly back to Santiago when Papa fell and dislocated his shoulder; as the months have progressed, Papá Daniel was confined to a wheelchair. It’s almost April and all I wish for is to be seated at my dinner table, as Mamá walks up behind me and sets, before me, a plate of warm mangú.

Place(s): Dominican Republic,Long Island,Washington Heights

– Jackie P

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant