Recipes And Stories From Immigrant Kitchens

A taste of America's melting pot

Persian herb omelets, Venezuelan asado negro and Chinese scallion pancakes: a combination about as unlikely (and far-flung) as one could imagine.

Yet each has a home in Massachusetts within the kitchens of first-generation immigrants. And now they're also living in a new book: Breaking Bread: Recipes and Stories from Immigrant Kitchens.

Part cookbook, part storybook and de facto anthropological text, Lynne Christy Anderson's tome details the culinary traditions carried on by immigrants in their new homes. Though she focuses on the greater Boston area, Anderson's findings serve as a microcosm of the culinary diversity surrounding many modern American cities.

Personal accounts do much to illuminate abstruse culinary connections, from the nuances of Latin American cuisines to the tie between a Russian tradition of foraging and dishes like mushroom casserole. But it's the eclectic recipes–often laid out for a complete, multicourse meal–that elevate this read from armchair-only to sauce-splattered kitchen favorite.

As fuzzy green okra pods come into season, try a recipe for Pakistani bhindi, (click here to download the recipe), a gingery, subtly spicy stew of okra and tomatoes.

Break out the welcome wagon.