Journal article Open Access
I met Kendra when she first arrived at the University of New Mexico (UNM). She was enjoying the alfajores I brought to the departmental potluck. I told her these were Peruvian-style cookies made with manjar blanco. She knew the cookies well, being a foodie, but had not heard of manjar blanco. I explained that in Peru we refer to dulce de leche as manjar blanco, to which she replied in perfect French, “like blancmange!” A discussion about her fascination with other aspects of Peruvian cuisine, love of languages, and experiences traveling abroad ensued. I felt instantly at home. Following that brief but insightful moment, building a connection with Kendra became one of the most meaningful experiences of my life.