Different Is Cool

Years ago, we asked people to share the food they associate most with childhood. An individual from India mentioned Rajmah Chawal. She said, “It’s an Indian dish, and it’s simply superb. Most of the kids I know love it and I still beg Mom to make them. Ah...those were the days!!”

Besides having never heard of the dish (I grew up amidst the cornfields of Illinois), I realized that it didn’t really matter. ANY food could be substituted in the equation: chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, or even Salisbury steak TV dinners. What’s constant are the emotions and memories that surface.

This is what makes childhood universal. We come from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds, family structures, and generations. The details may vary, but the experience of childhood – the feelings and emotions, the playfulness, the passion, the curiosity, and the wide-eyed wonder – unites us all.

When it comes to relishing one of Mom’s secret recipes that you haven’t had in years, we all know the feeling. We can all relate.

Diversity is a big buzzword these days. All I know is that a world with only one flavor of anything would be a very boring world indeed.