When Somali immigrant and former model Hawa Hassan needed a way to connect with her family and culture back home, she turned to the flavors of her country in food to bring her home. After a couple of food-filled months with her family, she returned to New York City and started a traditional Somali sauce company called Basbaas which sells at local Farmers markets, Whole Foods, and other stores around the City. In this video from Eater, hear Hassan describe how and why she did it.
At the age of seven, Hawa Hassan, a former model, fled Somalia and was separated from her family as a result of the Somali Civil War. Fifteen years later, she was finally able to reunite with her mother and siblings and cook the meals she remembered and missed from her childhood. From this came the inspiration for Basbaas, a line of sauces inspired by traditional Somali flavors. By turning her love for Somali cuisine into a small business, Hawa has created a daily reminder for both who she is and where she came from.
Originally published on June 12th, 2017
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