This interview is part two of a four part series of highlighting stories and recipes of our collective cookbook.
Victoria Franco (she/her) is a senior studying in Spanish and Psychology. Her mother is from North Carolina and grew up on a farm while her father is from Paraguay. Growing up Victoria found it interesting to see the differences in food; on her mother’s side she would have traditional southern food such as collard greens and [insert here] while her grandmother from her father’s side made more traditional Paraguay dishes such as sopa paraguaya and empanadas.
For Victoria, “food has a story.” She likes looking up the history of a dish and reading up on its cultural implications. The recipe she chose also has a story behind it. The “pan de yuca” was a frequent meal her grandmother from Paraguay would make when she was little. As a child she was a bit of a picky eater, but “pan de yuca” was a favorite of hers and one of the first dishes she enjoyed when visiting family from her father’s side. In terms of its cultural implications, Victoria finds it fascinating that you can find a version of “pan de yuca” in other cultures such as “pão de queijo” in Brazil.
In general, Victoria likes to think of where our food comes from. She’ll often ask herself,
“What climate does this food grow in?”
This stems from visiting various farms while growing up where she got to see first hand where the meat came from or where the milk came from. This natural curiosity of hers extends to how she practices sustainable eating. Victoria tries to be conscious of different brands and their ethical practices. For example, chocolate and cacao farms. Victoria makes sure to not buy chocolate from large companies however sometimes there’s the dilemma of buying local and organic or cheaper items. Visiting farms was also a way that Victoria connected with nature. She enjoys being outside especially since it makes her feel calm. Being out in nature reminds Victoria how small we are in comparison to the rest of the world.
Check out Victoria’s recipe below.
Pan de Yuca