Breaking News
More () »

It's AAPI Heritage Month, take a look into the role food plays in bridging the gap between generations

Around 2% of Memphians are part of the AAPI community, but that is made of dozens of cultures and 150 years of history in the Mid-South.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In the Mid-South, the love of food is an experience that transcends race and class. One Memphis native is using the city’s love of food to shine a spotlight on the area’s Asian community.

Dr. SunAh Laybourn has organized a series of events highlighting Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

"For so long, growing up here in Memphis, oftentimes I felt very unseen," said Laybourn.

According to the University of Memphis Assistant Professor, the AAPI community makes up about 2% of all Memphians. 

"I could not let another May go by without a celebration here in Memphis," said Laybourn, "Our Asian-American community here in Memphis has an over 150 year history, but it's a history that most Memphians don't know."

This month, Memphians can experience a variety of events highlighting AAPI art, movies and food.

"Those flavors are what's connecting us both to a past, but also to our present," said Laybourn.

For Sarah Cai, owner of Good Fortune Co. in Memphis, food has been a universal language in her family.

"Every time my family would get together, we'd always make dumplings,” said Cai, "When I would go back to China, my grandma only speaks Chinese, and so there still is a language barrier between us, and so how we bridge that gap is always through food."

Good Fortune Co. has been open for two years, and this month it is one of 10 a part of the Hungry Tiger Food Tour with Edible Memphis. Helping Memphians have a better insight into the dozens of cultures, and flavors in the AAPI community.

"Northern Chinese cuisine is going to be very different from Southern Chinese cuisine because of the ingredients available to them," said Cai, "If you think about India, you have Southern India cuisine that use a lot of coconut milk, you get Northern India that have influence from China from that border."

To keep up to date with the food tour and all of the other events for AAPI Heritage Month in Memphis, you can check out these links on this page.

Before You Leave, Check This Out