Books

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

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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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