While growing up in Versailles, an Indiana farm community, Linda Furiya tried to balance the outside world of Midwestern America with the Japanese traditions of her home life. As the only Asian family in a tiny township, Furiya’s life revolved around Japanese food and the extraordinary lengths her parents went to in order to gather the ingredients needed to prepare it.
As immigrants, her parents approached the challenges of living in America, and maintaining their Japanese diets, with optimism and gusto. Furiya, meanwhile, was acutely aware of how food set her apart from her peers: She spent her first day of school hiding in the girls’ restroom, examining her rice balls and chopsticks, and longing for a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.
Bento Box in the Heartland is an insightful and reflective coming-of-age tale. Each chapter is accompanied by a family recipe of mouthwatering Japanese comfort food.
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