Main menu

Pages

Rochester Group Brings A Taste Of Home And Culture To The Night Market - Post Bulletin

Rochester — Elsa Salazar moved to Rochester from the Philippines 12 years ago. She believes Rochester is inclusive and diverse, but there aren’t many places to eat Filipino food nearby, which has fueled her craving for home-cooked food.

Salazar is now one of at least 14 rotating vendors at the Night Market, an event that showcases Asian cuisine in the style of markets found across Asia. On the night of Saturday, July 30, 2022, 20 vendors of a wide variety of food, condiments and art gathered near downtown Rochester.

After visiting the night market last year and enjoying the different cultural presentations, Salazar decided to sell at the night market this year with her husband and two friends.

“It’s like going around the world in and of itself,” Salazar said.

Taste of Southeast Asia, a group of Salazar, manufactures and markets food products representing multiple countries and cultures, including the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Saturday’s menu consisted of sticky rice, beef or fish meatballs, and Pinoy his hot dogs with banana ketchup.

Salazar did not like to cook. Since she is the youngest of her ten siblings, she was left with chores as she grew up and failed to develop impressive cooking skills. After she moved to Rochester, Salazar “learned how to stand on her own.” She is socially influenced by her media recipes.

“I still video call my mom to show her how we do things and so on, as well as watching videos,” Salazar said.

So if Salazar didn’t grow up wanting to be a chef, how did Salazar end up in the food vendor business?

It all comes down to the importance of culture.

Meatballs and Pinoy hot dogs will be prepared by members of Taste of Southeast Asia at the Rochester Night Market on Saturday, July 30, 2022.

Abby Sharp/Post Bulletin

Sharing the food she grew up with is important to Salazar. For example, serving hot dogs may not be considered representative or glamorous of Filipino culture. But that assumption is wrong.

“Oh, I know it sounds just like a simple thing – it’s a Filipino hot dog. “And it brings back a lot of memories for me. , you see it in some of the dishes we make.”

As Salazar says, it promotes culture through food. Every other Saturday through September 10th, Rochesterers will have the opportunity to experience different cultures without leaving town. It’s Tiffany Alexandria’s vision organizer for the market, and it’s being adopted by vision vendors this summer.

For Salazar, it doesn’t matter how much her group makes. “Profit is just a bonus for me,” she said. She enjoys connecting with her community and gathering with her friends to cook food that feels like home.

“We are one community and I think it is very important for people to experience that,” says Salazar. “We have to learn from each other. Hosting these events allows our communities to learn from each other and promote cohesion.”