Appetite for Home: Bitter-Sweet Memories of Learning to Cook & Eat in America
Anne Noyes Saini


TCF, USA, 213
Appetite, Food, Identity, Immigration
02 52


Longtime New Yorkers recall family cooking traditions and foods from home that have been lost to immigration.

Appetite for Home: Bitter-Sweet Memories of Learning to Cook & Eat in America was produced by Anne Noyes Saini for the 2013 Third Coast ShortDocs Challenge.


Anne Noyes Saini covers food culture, immigration, women, and the elderly in New York City — especially in Queens, where she lives. She is originally from Wyoming.


Hungry for more? Read about and listen to other submissions from the 2013 ShortDocs Challenge, our collaboration with the James Beard Foundation that invited anyone/everyone to produce short audio stories inspired by the theme of appetite, told in three “courses,” and including one of the five tastes in the title: bitter, salty, sour, sweet or umami.

Find more from Anne Noyes Saini's ongoing audio project, Forgotten Foods of New York

Behind the scenes of Appetite for Home:

Course 1: Foods from home lost to immigration

(speakers, in order of appearance: Olga Colon, Nurys Ortiz, Nancy Soong)

Course 2: Learning to cook and eat in America
(speakers, in order of appearance: Olga Colon, Nancy Soong, Christina Lam)

Course 3: Foods from home recreated in America
(speaker: Nurys Ortiz)

About the speakers:
Olga Colon, 86, of Manhattan's Lower East Side, arrived in New York City -- from Puerto Rico -- when she was 18 years old.

Christina Lam, 68, of Chinatown, Manhattan, grew up in Hong Kong and moved to New York to work in a garment factory on East Broadway.

Nurys Ortiz, 58, of Washington Heights, left the Dominican Republic ("DR") to work in a NYC factory when she was 17 years old.

Nancy Soong, 90, of Battery Park City, Manhattan, was raised in Hong Kong and moved to NYC 60 years ago, after attending Vassar College.

Photo of Olga Colon by Emon Hassan, courtesy of Narratively.

Music credit:
"Home Again," by Michael Kiwanuka