How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

More ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: Cabrit

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Cabrit fricassee at TiGeorge's with all the Caribbean fixings, May 2011

Goats are cute. And unfortunately for them, they are also tasty.

The beloved, beady-eyed petting zoo favorites are considered delectable in many parts of the world. This includes in much of Southern California, where Mexican bírria – a spicy and much-eaten goat stew– is hardly a rarity.

But there are less common goat delicacies in these parts that merit a try. Notably is a savory Hatian dish of marinated, slow-roasted goat, referred to there as cabrit or kabrit.

Hatian-style cabrit is very different from bírria, in which the goat meat is served with a spicy broth. But done right, no broth is needed, as the meat is delectably tender. Those who grew up with it sing its praises, although there are the inevitable goat-related childhood stories.

Gary Dauphin, a Los Angeles writer and director of new media for KCET, remembers his first goat dinner while visiting his grandmother:


Among Syrian Americans, the conflict at home (Video)

Earlier this year, KPCC staff videographer Grant Slater began videotaping solidarity rallies held in Los Angeles by Middle Eastern immigrants in support of democratic reforms back home. This led him to a series of other stories, those of Southern California immigrants from Arab countries watching and grappling with what has become known as the Arab Spring from 8,000 miles away

With the help of a few contributors, the stories of several of these immigrants have been featured this week in a series of videos.

Today's final feature explores how the violent unrest in Syria has carried over to the Syrian immigrant community here, with Syrian Americans deeply divided over the prospect of revolution.

Yesterday's video explored the world of Bakersfield's Yemeni immigrants, among them check-cashing store owner Faroq Almulaikey, who hopes to return to Yemen someday to live.


Report: How different ethnic groups use electronic media

Photo by Old Shoe Woman/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Photo by Old Shoe Woman/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A new report based on research from The Nielsen Company delves into the electronic media habits of minorities, including the use of social media and smartphones. The findings, released yesterday, show that "African Americans are TV-centric, Hispanics are savvy smartphone users, and Asians/Pacific Islanders are heavily wired to the Internet."

Latinos are also more likely to use MySpace than average American consumers, according to the report, while black Americans are heavier Twitter users. Some excerpts:

African Americans are the heaviest TV consumers, watching 6 hours and 54 minutes a day versus the 5 hour and 11 minute average for all U.S. households. More than 30 percent of African American households have four or more televisions, and they over-index in subscription to premium cable services.

Hispanics are very active on their smartphones, texting the most out of all races/ethnicities (943 texts per month) and employing a wide range of mobile activities, including mobile banking. Smartphone penetration has reached 45 percent, matching only Asian-American usage levels in popularity.

Asians/Pacific Islanders are the most active PC and Internet users, spending nearly 80 hours on PCs in February 2011 versus the national average of about 55 hours. They also consume more Internet content than any other group, visiting 3,600 web pages in February – about 1,000 more than their counterparts.


In the news this morning: Secure Communities investigation, immigrant driver's license scheme, Mildred Baena's MySpace page, more

U.S. Inspector General to Investigate "Secure Communities" Program - Fox News Latino More on the Homeland Security decision to investigate the controversial fingerprint-sharing immigration enforcement program.

Schwarzenegger Maid Mildred Baena's MySpace Page Becomes a Flashpoint for Latinos - Fox News Latino From the story: "Latinos making the page a gathering place where they can go to defend the erstwhile Schwarzenegger-Shriver staffer."

Korean Nationals Arrested In Elaborate Driver's License Scheme - Cerritos-Artesia Patch Authorities have identified the two men arrested in an elaborate scheme to provide driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants as Dae Wan Ahn, 49, of Diamond Bar, and Chong Hwan Kim, 47, of Norwalk.

Yoga in the many languages of Alhambra - Alhambra Source In the multilingual L.A. suburb of Alhambra, yoga classes are found in English, Spanish and Mandarin.


More ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: Rabo encendido

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

We're on the second-to-last day of a week of posts celebrating unsung ethnic delicacies, this time those raw, cooked or canned meat dishes that don't look or sound great, but taste delicious.

Today's offering, rabo encendido, neither looks nor sounds good. Its name, which translates to "tail on fire," ranked third on a recent list of seven oddly named foods in Dominican cuisine.

But what sounds like a painful bovine affliction is in fact a tasty stew of beef oxtail in a mildly spicy tomato sauce. It's popular throughout the Caribbean, found in Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican cooking. As with other oxtail preparations around the globe, it's a dish born of necessity, the product of creative cooks who couldn't afford to waste a scrap of meat and made it taste good.

All that said, "tail on fire" is not the most appetizing thing to look at. The name is bad enough. There is the anatomical location of the tail to consider, not ideal. Then there are the knobby, irregularly shaped bones, which you must dig into to find the meat in the nooks and crannies.