Is there possibly anything out there that spells “culture” and “tradition” better than food?

We hardly think so.

Studies have shown that immigrants and the descendants of immigrants –even after 7 or 9 generations removed from original journey from homeland– hold on longer to cultural foodways than to any other form of cultural marker.

Ethnic restaurants (or restaurants of religious traditions or regional cuisine) are the first evidence of cultural diversity in any city or town.

Oro Valley is no exception. There are a number of ethnic/cultural restaurants run by authentic cooks and practitioners from the representative cultures.

There are also several clubs and associations in the area that keep their culinary traditions alive: Polish, Chinese, French, etc.

There are also many food traditions in Oro Valley that thrive inside the private groups of a family (Filipino “lumpias”) or a congregation (Mormon “funeral potatoes”).

There are some regional (Tucson, Southwest) culinary traditions that overarch diversity:  they are the foods we eat here (in this part of the world). This includes, of course, Mexican food; cowboy foods; and Native American foods.

At the first edition of OVMY, the public will be treated to a small representative sample taken from all of the above. In each instance, we will tell you what is the connection to Oro Valley.

You can expect:

  • Saffron Indian Bistro
  • It’s Greek To Me
  • Tohono O’odham “fry bread”
  • Kona Ice – Hawaiian Shave Ice
  • Club Costa Rica
  • Cool Cajun Cafe
  • Laos Academy