(orchestral music) – [Narrator] Japadog is a portmanteau; and for those of you that don’t
know what a portmanteau is, a portmanteau is when you
combine two distinct word forms. In this case, it’s Japan and hot dog. But this is not a story about words. This, my friends, is a
story about two cultures coming together via hot dog. (upbeat music) – [Narrator] On the menu, you’ll find dogs with an assortment of
traditional Japanese flavors, such as grated radish,
bonito flakes, and nori. (orchestral music) – [Narrator] There are
countless Chinatowns all over the world, and New York
boasts one of the most famous full of cheap produce, fish
markets, and, of course, a plethora of Chinese food. But, if you hop on the 1 train, take it to the Upper West Side, you’ll find a Chinese
restaurant like no other, where half the menu is something else. – [Male] Chuletta,
chicharones, ropa vieja, tostones, arroz y frijol. – [Narrator] This is La Caridad 78, New York’s last Cuban Chinese restaurant. (speaking foreign language) (speaking foreign language) – [Narrator] How did this
unlikely culinary duo come to be? That’s a great question: Enter, Sam Lee. – Sorry, it was my wife. – [Narrator] Hundreds of
thousands of Chinese came to Cuba in the 19th
and early 20th century, establishing a strong
presence on the island; but when Castro came to power, most Chinese immigrants,
like Sam’s father left— many of them coming to the U.S. And thus, Cuban Chinese food was born. – [Narrator] So are there
any Cuban-born workers left? (speaking foreign language) – [Narrator] While Cuban
Chinese culture is fading, La Caridad is a snapshot
of a strange moment in time where two vastly different
cultures merged together. (orchestral music) (upbeat music) (orchestral music) (upbeat piano music) – [Male] You’re in Mississippi, and everywhere you go, tamales. Those magical little snacks
of cornflour and meat packed into a corn husk. Tamales, tamales, tamales. So if you’ve ever wondered
what Mississippi tastes like, it tastes like me, the tamale. My journey starts almost
a hundred years ago. It’s 1930, and Mexican migrants are tricklin’ into Mississippi. They bring along a taste of home, their version of the sandwich: Meet the tamale. – My great-grandfather
came here from Mexico City, jumped the trains,
ended up in Mississippi. He decided to make his
family’s homemade hand-rolled hot tamales, and in 1939,
opened up this place and started selling tamales. You have to understand,
this is a family thing. I’m the fourth generation. These same generational
people who have been coming to the Big Apple Inn for the last 78 years are also generational. When they eat a tamale,
they always have a story. My daddy used to bring me here, his daddy had the same kind of story, his daddy had the same kind of story. Tamales caught on here, and it
became a staple in the city. – [Male] So there I am, winnin’ over the Mississippi natives,
and as I make my way up into the Delta, my location may change, but little did I know that the tradition of family most certainly would not. Just like Geno and his
grandfather at the Big Apple Inn, I bring the Scott family together— a family who has gone on to be known as the first family of
tamales in Mississippi. – In the early ’50s, my father bought the recipe from a Mexican guy. My mother and father taught me, my sisters and my niece,
all of us together, we’re makin’ hot tamale, we
just one big hot tamale family. In a business that’s family oriented, I think it’ll last longer. – [Male] Much like the Scott family, the Doe family is made up of
a long line of tamale makers. Doe’s Eat Place is a landmark restaurant that helped propel me
to become the backbone of Mississippi cuisine I’ve become today. – My daddy started this
restaurant in 1941 with my mother. We’ve been here 76 years. Momma had a sister that was livin’ here, and Daddy had a couple,
two or three sisters, that were livin’ here, so they
all came and rolled tamales. A lot of people ask us, “How
did tamales get prevalent “in the belt?” It’s been family. You know, family’s been here all the time. – [Male] As tamales make
their way from Mexican culture to African American communities and onto Mississippi’s white population, there’s one thing that
remained a constant, family, the most southern concept of all. (light music)