Southern Fried Asian: Sonia Saraiya

On a new episode of Southern Fried Asian, Keith is joined by Vanity Fair TV critic Sonia Saraiya to talk about growing up Indian American in rural Florida.

Sonia tells Keith about why her family preferred settling in the middle of nowhere (2:00), how many Asian American communities buy into — and thus perpetuate the model minority myth (8:30). She also recalls an infamous lunchbox moment (13:00) and how acceptance of ethnic food has evolved since then (16:00). Sonia also describes how television became her lifeline to the outside world (20:00) and using pop culture to help formulate an Indian American identity (29:00). Then, they talk about how important it is to upend stereotypes redefining what it means to be Asian in America (40:00). Finally, Sonia shares memories of her mother’s cooking and remembers the excitement of Taco Bell coming to town (53:00).

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Our official theme music is the song “Top Down” by  ChopsTimothy Flu, and Mic Barz

Southern Fried Asian is produced by Keith Chow and Jes Vu.