11/18/2018 09:34 EST | Updated 01/07/2019 15:49 EST

'Born And Raised' Podcast: How 'That One Dish' Can Change Your Life

When you're a child of immigrants, food fuels your ties to family and culture.

Al Donato
From left to right: Amir Ahmed, Paul Taylor, Kumari Giles speak about their favourite cultural dishes.

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We all have favourite foods, but there's always "that one dish" that transports us back to childhood, reminds us of people we care about, and, sometimes, plays a role in fostering who we are.

When people emigrate, they may leave everyone and everything behind, but they find a way to put their culture on a plate — and connect to the next generation.

Host Angelyn Francis and reporter Al Donato kick off the five-part "Born And Raised: Food" mini-series podcast with stories from second-generation Canadians about "that one dish." They also pay tribute to their own food faves: Jamaica's red pea soup and the Philippines' palabok.

Listen to "That One Dish"

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Read a transcript of this episode

Meet the guests:

Al Donato
Amir Ahmed poses with biryani (left); Ahmed and Carine Abouseif (right)

When Amir Ahmed and his fiancée, Carine Abouseif, eat at Indian restaurants, he doesn't let them order biryani. He doesn't let his friends order it either. He's got a good reason for this, and he feels strongly about it. Will Carine ever get to enjoy biryani without having to ask Amir's mother to make it?

Al Donato
Foodshare Toronto executive director Paul Taylor (left); a plate of sliced bananas and banana fritters (right).

Paul Taylor was raised by his mom, and grew up in Toronto. He would tell schoolmates that he liked going on long walks during their lunch break. In reality, he was hiding the fact that he often didn't have anything to eat. But when his mom taught him to make an easy, affordable dish from her home country, St. Kitts and Nevis, everything changed.

Al Donato
Artist Kumari Giles chops onions in their kitchen in Toronto, Ont. (left); a plate of katta sambol, adapted from their grandmother's recipe (right).

Kumari Giles' grandma taught them that Sri Lankan food was love, and their grandmother had a special place in her heart for katta sambol, a dish made of onions and spices. After their grandmother's death, Kumari continued to make katta sambol, and often, a guest would join them in the kitchen when they were cooking.

Places mentioned in this episode:

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