You might be thinking, what does a first generation Korean American have to say about Ragu Pasta sauce? Plenty! Growing up, my mom had two staple American dishes that she made: tacos and spaghetti and meat sauce. The meat sauce was always made with Ragu Pasta Sauce.
Our Immigration Story
My family immigrated here from Korea in September 1974. I was 2.5 years old. Here are my lovely parents during their engagement:
Here I am – this was my passport photo for when we came to America.
We lived in California and acclimated easily as young children. My parents tell us that we learned English by watching Sesame Street and playing with the other children in our apartment building.
Ragu Pasta Sauce: Bringing Cultures Together
Being first generation immigrants has the benefit and cost of blending two cultures. Food was one area of crossover between the two cultures. Our normal dinner consisted of rice, soup, banchan (little side dishes), and fish or beef. However, we loved it when we ate American meals because it was a completely different experience for our taste buds!My favorite meal as a first generation immigrant https://ooh.li/5cc41ed #simmeredintradition #ad Click To Tweet
One of the American meals we had on a consistent basis was spaghetti with a meat sauce. My mom worked at a hearing aid factory for many years when we were growing up. She learned to make all of her American recipes from co-workers. Her co-worker taught her to make it with onion, celery, carrots, ground beef, dried parsley, and sauce, slowly simmered for a long time.
My parents always bought Ragu pasta sauce. They didn’t know about Assunta’s immigration story or her entrepreneurial spirit, but they would have resonated with her story. My parents were loyal to Ragu because they connected with the great tasting sauce and familiarity of the brand.
I have vivid memories of my dad eating spaghetti with kimchi, a fermented cabbage that is commonly eaten with every Korean meal. Eventually we didn’t think anything of it – and sometimes joined him in eating our spaghetti with kimchi. Pasta, sauce, and kimchi – the blending of two worlds.Spaghetti and Kimchi? You bet! https://ooh.li/5cc41ed #simmeredintradition #ad Click To Tweet
Today my family eats spaghetti and meat sauce weekly. It’s one of my sons’ favorite meals. It’s a quick and easy weeknight dinner with prepared sauce. I love my mom’s effort in adding additional veggies to the sauce, but we’re in a season where we don’t have the time for that. I’m so glad Ragu’s sauces have 2 servings of veggies for every serving. This one is my favorite.
My sons actually won’t try kimchi at all, so the tradition of spaghetti and kimchi stops with me. We usually don’t have a fresh supply of kimchi in our house, but you can often find me eating my spaghetti with a pickle or two.
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What was a staple in your home growing up?