Have a “Heartland Holiday” with Lidia Bastianich
Dec. 17, 2018
In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lidia Bastianich (at right) visits Bonnie Boyer, who is renowned for her shoofly pie, and Bonnie’s grandson Adam. Photo by Meredith Nierman/WGBH.
Lidia Celebrates America: A Heartland Holiday Feast, premiering Tuesday, December 18, 9-10 p.m. ET/8 CT on PBS (check local listings), follows award-winning chef Lidia Bastianich on a journey through rural America to discover holiday traditions. This special is part of the CPB-supported “Lidia Celebrates America” series, which explores how Americans are preserving their diverse culinary traditions and transforming local cuisine.
“Small towns are the heart of our nation, rich in traditions that have been handed down generation after generation. I feel honored for the opportunity to gain access to people’s long-held cultural traditions,” Bastianich said.
Through funding of films such as A Heartland Holiday Feast and partnership with public media stations across the country, CPB is committed to finding the stories that reflect all of America and sharing the richness of small, rural towns with a national audience. The program takes viewers to Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Minnesota where tradition and recipes including shoofly pie, Scandinavian Lefse flatbread, salted eelpout cakes, tamales, Gumbo and more, bring communities together.
Bastianich’s journey ends in rural Pennsylvania with a holiday meal inspired by dishes from the communities she visited and infused with her own traditional Italian flavors.
“Food has always been a great part of human identity,” says Bastianich. “It is one of the most effective ways of bringing people together, so they better understand each other’s unique cultures and traditions. With globalization and growing urbanization different food cultures are traveling across the world and infusing new life to American culinary traditions.”
You can find more on Lidia Celebrates America: A Heartland Holiday Feast on PBS.org along with previous specials, including last year’s Lidia Celebrates America: Homegrown Heroes, Lidia Celebrates America: Holiday for Heroes (2016) and Lidia Celebrates America: Home for the Holidays (2015). These specials were recognized with James Beard awards.
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