Food, a staple of human existence, reflects both culture and access to edible resources. Every culture has favorite recipes and these foods followed immigrants to Napa Valley. The presence of multiple cultures in Napa in the second half of the 19th century explains how a broad spectrum of food styles was introduced. A number of recipes made it into mainstream cuisine of the valley. Early cookbooks, restaurant menus, and recipes reveal how foods like the tamale, the malfatti, and chop suey crossed ethnic boundaries becoming popular across the broader Napa Valley populations. Variations of recipes reflect how the differing cultures modified the food recipes to suit their particular palettes.