I love Thanksgiving, and it’s not because of the stuffing or the cranberry sauce or even the pumpkin pie. In my house, all those things sit quietly in the background.
I am the daughter of two South African Jews. We’ve been in the U.S. for about 25 years now, and while some American traditions have been adopted, others have not. Thanksgiving is definitely something we partake in (South Africans love food!!). Our dinner, however, is far from the commercialized American meal.
In my house, all “traditional” Thanksgiving foods take a trip down Gourmet Road. The turkey gets cooked in ginger ale, the apples are used for homemade sorbet and wontons, the mashed potatoes are truffled, even the corn bread gets a unique spin. We spend weeks brainstorming ideas for new recipes and hand crafting the menu to perfection. Everything from the drinks to the desserts are artfully planned to make the flavors come together in the most unconventional yet delicious of ways.
In hindsight, I believe that these experiences, during a holiday celebrated with comforting food, played a key role in the start of my website dedicated to helping expats find the food they miss most from their home country. I launched ZiiBest.com about 3 months ago, and it has been such a joy to be a part of this reconnecting process. The genuine excitement and passion that people have expressed upon finding their favorite chips or the cookies they grew up eating is truly wonderful.