How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

More ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: Kitfo

Photo by Manogamo/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Since our list of unsung ethnic delicacies this week has so far focused on meat - most recently, raw meat - why stop now?

A couple of different colleagues lately have praised the virtues of raw Ethiopian kitfo, a spicy relative of steak tartare and its global cousins, among them the Armenian-style chee kufta featured yesterday.

Kitfo is quite unlike the simpler chee kufta and its Lebanese cousin, kibbeh nayyeh. The dish is made from minced lean beef that has been flavored with an elaborate spice blend containing chili peppers and fragrant spices, among them cardamom and cloves, and with seasoned clarified butter. It's typically served with flat injera bread and a mild cheese, which balances the spice.

With its complex seasonings, the dish tends to surprise those who didn't grow up with it, but grow to like it. Here is what Elahe Izadi, one of my NPR Argo Network colleagues from WAMU's DCentric blog, had to say about her first kitfo experience:


The Arab Spring in the Southland: Libya (Video)

five-day series of videos on the Multi-American and KPCC websites has been featuring the stories of immigrants from six Arab countries, all grappling with the political upheaval taking place in their native countries 8,000 miles away.

In two videos posted yesterday, Egyptian immigrants Mostafa Said, Tamer Kattan and Wedad Abdou shared their thoughts on the revolution there and its aftermath. On Monday we met Bechir Blagui, a Tunisian-born business and pro-democracy activist.


The naming of a Navy ship after Cesar Chavez draws political fire

Photo by jay galvin/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A UC San Diego mural honoring Chicano history and Chavez, April 2010

Multi-American's sister blog Home Post at KPBS in San Diego, which reports on the military, has posted a piece on the controversy over the naming of a U.S. Navy ship after the late labor leader Cesar Chavez. From the post:

The United States Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, is headed to San Diego tomorrow to announce that a ship will be named after labor leader Cesar Chavez. General Dynamics NASSCO spokesman James Gill told the Associated Press it’s a way to pay homage to the Latino workers who built the dry cargo ship, and the neighborhood (Barrio Logan) General Dynamics calls home.

But Congressman Duncan Hunter Jr. of East San Diego County, a Republican whose retired congressman father was a driving force behind construction of the border fence, is complaining about the decision. From his


In the news this morning: Haitian immigrants' post-quake protection extended, a smuggling route from Asia through Mexico, more

U.S. to Extend Haitians’ Post-Quake Immigration Status - New York Times Haitians who received special protected immigration status after last year’s earthquake will be allowed an additional year and a half to live and work in the United States while their country struggles to recover.

Illegal Immigration Pipeline From South Asia to US Passes through Guatemala - Fox News Latino Many of the 513 U.S.-bound migrants discovered Tuesday in two trucks in Chiapas, Mexico were from India and other Asian countries.

Texas Latino Senators Brace for Immigration Bill Debate - Fox News Latino Similar to Arizona's SB 170, the bill would give most police officers the right to question detained people about their immigration status, and prohibit cities from adopting policies that ban the practice.

Durbin proposes a sit down with Kyl on immigration - The Hill Appearing together on "Fox News Sunday," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin on Sunday asked Minority Whip Jon Kyl to sit down and talk about comprehensive immigration reform.


The Arab Spring in the Southland: Egypt (Video)

A video posted earlier took a look at the revolution in Egypt through the eyes of two Egyptian Americans at Los Angeles' Habibi Cafe, manager Mostafa Said and a young patron, Tamer Kattan. Yesterday we met Bechir Blagui, a Tunisian-born businessman and activist.

The videos are part of a five-day series on the Multi-American and KPCC websites featuring the stories of immigrants from six Arab countries, all of them watching what has become known as the Arab Spring take place from 8,000 miles away.