Atole de elote is a warm corn drink from Central America. Student Jose Rivas wrote an essay about a weekly tradition of enjoying atole with his late father in El Salvador, and how the drink helped him to feel more at home after he moved to the U.S. Becky Harlan/NPR hide caption

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Becky Harlan/NPR

Nowruz, the Persian New Year, is a celebration of the start of spring marked through large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia. Above, a Nowruz haftseen table, laden with seven items meant to symbolize rebirth or renewal. creativeelixir/Getty Images/iStockphoto hide caption

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creativeelixir/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Mimosa cake is made of layers of sponge cake brushed with citrus liqueur and liberally spread with pastry cream, then topped with small cubes of even more sponge cake that are meant to mimic the small blooms of the mimosa flower. It's the taste of the Festa della Donna, an Italian holiday when women of all ages leave the menfolk behind to celebrate each other. GiuseppeParisi/Getty Images/iStockphoto hide caption

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GiuseppeParisi/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Caribbean Tradition, an appetizer made with pickled pig's feet, chiriqui beans, and puffed pork skin, at Donde Jose. Chef Carles calls it his version of a ceviche. Kait Bolongaro for NPR hide caption

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Kait Bolongaro for NPR

Food writer Maria Speck soaks bulgur wheat in pomegranate juice to saturate it with burgundy color, then serves it with blueberries and orange-blossom water to tantalize the taste buds and eyes. Penguin/Random House hide caption

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Penguin/Random House

Skinned, sliced, battered, deep-fried animal testicles are served as Rocky Mountain Oysters at Bruce's Bar in Severance, Colo. There's a rich tapestry of Western lore built around Rocky Mountain oysters, thanks to the food's cowboy provenance. Ann Marie Awad/KUNC hide caption

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Ann Marie Awad/KUNC

After losing her daughter during the war, Vijaya cares for her granddaughter Anjali. Despite not being able to afford fresh vegetables, she cooks nourishing sothis or stews made of coconut milk. Palmera hide caption

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Palmera

Mary Cittoni, Joanne Cittoni Gonzalez and Clemente Cittoni work together, making malfatti in the kitchen of Val's Liquor in Napa. Lisa Morehouse/KQED hide caption

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Lisa Morehouse/KQED

Malfatti, The Dumpling That Became A Napa Valley Legend

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Matzo ball soup is a classic recipe straight from Eastern Europe. But not all Jews from the region came to the New World via Ellis Island, as reflected in this jalapeño-inflected family recipe from chef Pati Jinich. Copyright Ellen Silverman hide caption

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Copyright Ellen Silverman

For Rosh Hashana, A Matzo Ball Soup By Way Of Mexico

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Tour guide Ron Craig points to a photo in Jack Daniel's old office at the whiskey maker's distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn. The photo, taken in the 1890s, shows Jack Daniel (wearing a black-banded white hat and a gray goatee), seated next to an African-American man. He and a second African-American man (top left) are believed to be sons of Nearis Green, who may have helped teach Daniel his trade. Blake Farmer/Nashville Public Radio hide caption

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Blake Farmer/Nashville Public Radio

Jack Daniel's Heralds A Slave's Role In Its Origin Story

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Oil down, Grenada's national dish, is a melting pot of its cultural history. This hearty stew is made of local veggies, salted meat and aromatic spices. It's a dish prepared cookout-style at social gatherings, where everyone brings something to put into the pot. Scott Neuman for NPR hide caption

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Scott Neuman for NPR

The coffee cabinet is a Rhode Island staple. It's an ice cream beverage dating back to the World War II era. The ingredient list is pretty simple: It's just coffee syrup, ice cream and milk. John Bender/Rhode Island Public Radio hide caption

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John Bender/Rhode Island Public Radio

What's In That Coffee Cabinet? A Delicious Taste Of Rhode Island History

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Jollof rice is the celebration dish of West Africa. At its basic, it includes rice, tomatoes, onions and chili peppers. But there are a zillion variations, depending on your country of origin, and the friendly rivalry can get intense over which version reigns supreme. Matthew Mead/AP hide caption

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Matthew Mead/AP

Jollof Rice: West Africans Dish It Up With A Hefty Serving Of Smack Talk

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Reiko Tsuzuki, 70, makes buckwheat soba noodles by hand in her restaurant kitchen in the Japanese island of Shikoku. Ina Jaffe/NPR hide caption

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Japan's Centuries-Old Tradition Of Making Soba Noodles

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