‘Akron Family Recipes’ explores food traditions of city’s ethnic groups


Preserving the traditional food of our heritage creates bonds between generations and preserves cultural identity. Still, the Irish may enjoy Italian Wedding Soup and Italians may savor triple-leavened Angel Biscuits, a feature of Black family gatherings. The recipes, and many others, are in the long-awaited “Akron Family Recipes: History and Traditions from Sauerkraut Balls to Sweet Potato Pie” by Judy Orr James.

In her introduction, James cites her catalyst for writing the book: “I realized how deeply woven our food history is woven into our community’s history and, sadly, how many treasured restaurant and family recipes have been lost.”

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In the book, great-grandchildren have brought out secret family dishes, and restaurant recipes have been adapted for home cooking. A pierogi recipe was adapted by a former kitchen manager of the Polish American Citizens Club, and an Irish-born war bride contributes her recipe for soda bread.

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