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Chinese Chorizo Festival across Tucson honors lost historic food

By Brooke Chau,


“Really recognize that we have a very prominent Chinese community here, which I don't think a lot of people know about Tucson when they come here," said Feng-Feng Yeh, Tucson chef and artist.

It’s a celebration of Tucson’s lost historic food, giving community members a chance to connect with their cultures. The Tucson Chinese Chorizo Festival returns for its second year, hoping to revive the lost food with cultural events throughout the month of October.

The month-long festival is all about the story of Mexican and Chinese immigrant solidarity during the early 1900s to the 1970s. Tucson chef Feng Feng Yeh is the organizer who says this is all about historic preservation and cultural enrichment.

"I moved to New York City for a really long time and came back during the pandemic. This is way off the track for me, but it's very heartwarming to be able to do something that's unexpected, but to also give back to the community that I grew up in and have this full circle moment," said Yeh.

The upcoming festival is all about Chinese chorizo, a lost food that originates from over 100 Chinese grocery stores that used to exist in South Tucson. These stores were all about the relationships between Mexican and Chinese immigrants who created Chinese chorizo with whatever meat was on hand and revive it with Mexican spices.

This festival is a way to honor that time period while continuing to work at bettering our community through diverse cultures and cuisine.

“I want people to start conversations and talk about where your background is from, what's your connection to food, where does food come from," said Yeh. "Really connect with people over things that we don't normally connect with to have intimate relationships with our food and people and art and culture.”

About 1200 pounds of chorizo was donated to around 35 restaurants and food vendors across Tucson and Phoenix for the festival.

Here is the list of events happening during the month of October for the Chinese Chorizo Festival:

Sunday, October 1: Gastronomic Union of Tucson Autumn Harvest Carnival

Friday, October 6: MOCA Tucson Chorizo Dancehall Fall Fundraiser

Friday, October 6 - Sunday, October 8: Participating Tucson Restaurants

Sunday, October 8: Tucson Museum of Art 2nd SundAZe and Southwest Art Exhibition with Atekei Treats, Phatboiis BBQ, and Fungirl’s Fungi

Friday, October 13 - Sunday, October 15: Participating Tucson Restaurants

Saturday, October 14: Activism in Motion (AIM) talk/workshop with Chinese Chorizo Project founder Feng-Feng Yeh at the Center for Creative Photography

Friday, October 20 - Saturday, October 21: Asian Chamber of Commerce Night Market at Casino Del Sol (Glendale)

Friday, October 20 - Sunday, October 22: Participating Phoenix Restaurants (Valentine and Chilte)

Friday, October 27 - Sunday, October 29: Participating Tucson Restaurants

Sunday, October 28: Queer AF American Horror Story Halloween Dance Party with Food Graveyard at Owls Club

Tuesday, November 7: VIP After-party

For more information visit their website.

Brooke Chau is a reporter for KGUN 9 . She was a part of Fresno State's newscast, Fresno State Focus and interned at KFSN-ABC30 in Fresno, CA before coming to KGUN 9. Share your story ideas and important issues with Brooke by emailing or by connecting on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter .

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