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Host an ethnicity potluck and celebrate your food heritage

Hosting an ethnicity potluck is a great way to share your food heritage.
Hosting an ethnicity potluck is a great way to share your food heritage.
Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Are you looking for a fresh new idea for your next get-together or party? Why not host an ethnicity potluck dinner where everyone brings a dish that celebrates their food heritage? Even in the most homogeneous parts of America our food heritages are often distinctly different. Start asking people in your circle of influence where their great-grandparents came from and you’re likely to have a good start on filling in a world map. What better way to celebrate that diversity than with food?

Here’s how it works

Just like a regular potluck, you’ll ask your guests to sign up for the course they prefer to bring: appetizer, cold salad, main dish, dessert or beverage. The twist is that whatever they choose to bring needs to be typical in the country of their food heritage. For instance, if their grandparents were from Poland, perhaps they could bring pierogi or golabki. If their food heritage is Indian they could bring samosas or gulab jamun.

Add some potluck sparkle and shine

* Ask guests to provide you with their recipes before the event. Copy them on recipe cards and have them available for other guests to take home.

* Display a world map and have your guests place a push pin in the area their dish is from.

* Print off small paper flags from each represented country and incorporate them into your table décor.

* Encourage your guests to share their memories or significance of the dishes they bring with others at the party.

* Prepare trivia cards that explain each region, dish or any unusual ingredients used, and place them on tables in the party area for guests to pick up and read at their leisure.

Hosting an ethnicity potluck is a great way to share your food heritage with others and get to know your friends better. Who knows … you may even discover a new favorite cuisine.

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