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5 Conversation Starters about Family Food Culture

Coming from different religious backgrounds/cultures, you and your partner likely grew up eating different foods with their own rituals and traditions. These conversation starters about family food culture and history will help you explore the overlap between your religious and/or cultural backgrounds and the role food played in your lives growing up. They will also help you discover what is important to you as individuals and as a couple.

Ready to start cooking some multicultural recipes with Jewish roots? We’ve got those.

And if you’re engaged or recently married, check out Our Year of Firsts—a new program designed to help you explore the deeper meaning behind Jewish holidays, discuss your interfaith relationship, create new traditions together and meet other interfaith couples.

Conversation Starters about Family Food Culture

  1. We all know that there is a strong psychological element to food (think “comfort food,” chicken soup as Jewish penicillin, etc.). What foods were special to you growing up and why? 
  2. In Judaism, there are different blessings to say before you eat or drink. Did you grow up saying any blessings or prayers before or after you ate? Was this meaningful for you? Why or why not? 
  3. Sometimes as adults we decide to do things that differently than what we did growing up. Do you pray before or after you eat now?  Why or why not?  Is this something you would want to do when/if you have children?
  4. Coming from different religious and/or cultural backgrounds, you and your partner likely eat different specialty foods on holidays. Do you enjoy discovering new foods and culinary traditions from your partner’s family? How does it make you feel?
  5. It can be beneficial to talk about your vision of the future together. Which food traditions do you want to incorporate into your life together, and which might you want to keep separate? Why?

Nicole Wasilus

Nicole takes pride in directing the Jewish Clergy Officiation Referral Service which helps connect over 4,000+ couples and families annually to interfaith-friendly rabbis and cantors as 18Doors’ Director of Lifecycle Connections. She began her career working for Hillel after graduating from Penn State University in 2011. Nicole received her Masters in Public Administration with a focus in Nonprofit Management from the University of Delaware in 2017. She was recognized in 2020 as a Jewish change-maker in a time of crisis by New York Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36.” When she’s not working, Nicole loves exploring new restaurants in Philadelphia with her husband, seeing independent movies, and taking her Insta-famous dog to the park.