Somalilandsun- “Reconnecting with my family and sharing meals together made me yearn for flavors I grew up loving,” she says. “At first, I wanted to share those sensations with everyone I knew. Seeing their reactions inspired me to launch my own line of Somali sauces.”
This was narrated to the associate food editor of www.epicurious.com Kathrine Sacks by Hawa Hassan the founder of Basbaas in New York City where the former refugee specializes in Somali foods.
For Hawa Hasan whose route to Somali foods fame in New York City started with a misfortune after sponsorship Procedures sent her to the United States and a subsequent 15 years separation with her family that ended up in Norway.
For After leaving Somalia, Hassan’s family first landed in a refugee camp in Kenya, where they spent several years. Her mother operated a small shop, selling basic goods like toilet paper and rice to the other refugees, and Hassan, the eldest daughter, helped out in the shop, perhaps foreshadowing her own business skills to come. But when Hassan was seven, an opportunity opened for her to move to the United States. “I was sent to Seattle to live with a group of Somali people because my mom found sponsorship for me,” she says. “[My mom] was waiting on her sponsorship and she originally thought they were going to be following me.”
Although Hassan’s mother hoped to resettle the entire family in America, this was never possible; her mother and nine siblings eventually moved to Oslo, Norway. It was 15 years before she saw her family again. “I remember feeling like this is so strange, but as time went on I made really good friends,” Hassan says. “I had my best friend and her family. I had school teachers that really cared about me.”
In high school, the lean and striking Hassan was approached by a modeling scout, which eventually brought her to New York City. She worked for several years as a fashion model, but eventually burned out. Wanting to refocus and spend time with her family, Hassan headed to Oslo. “I spent four months with them and just watched everything my mom and sisters did in the kitchen,” she said. During this time—the first time she had spent more than a week with her mother and sisters since being separated from them as a child—she was inspired to start Basbaas.
Continue reading Cooking Somali Beef Stew With BasBaas Founder Hawa Hassan