Pico de Gallo in a glass bowl
Pico de Gallo in a glass bowl

 Throughout my life my father would call me out of my room on his days off. He would shout, “Chonga, I need you!” which usually meant one thing, he needed me to taste test his salsa. When I was younger, I would feel an excited bubble in my chest knowing my favorite snack was almost done. My skill quickly grew when describing what the salsa needed to be perfect. In my teen years the bubble disappeared and was replaced with a bit of annoyance. I knew he didn’t need me to taste test it, but I would always leave my room to try it for him. My father’s love language was the food he could make for others, which he learned from my Abuela in their kitchen in Lodi, California. We lived a couple hours away from my father's side of the family, and eating his food helped me feel more connected to my Mexican roots. My father passed away last year, and I have felt a disconnection from myself. I felt guilty that I never tried to learn more of his recipes to embrace the way he connected to his culture. Recently, I have used my memory of those four words to craft salsa that tastes just like I remember it to be. I have found a part of myself that can't be broken away from my culture and my father. 

Place(s): California, Mexico
Year: 1913

– Montanna Davis

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more