Looking through my phone album and my album on my computer, I noticed a peculiar trend surfacing… Food selfies. I am guilty of indulging on treats and different foods while traveling to a new location. Actually, even when I’m not traveling, I tend to always indulge and throw in the extra few dollars or euros at a bakery. I’m a hardcore sucker for pastries and coffee… it’s addicting! Also, if there are any specialty treats in a city or country, my thought process is that I MUST try it; or it’s like I didn’t really visit the city/country. As you can imagine, this indulging habit of mine, usually leaves me scrounging around for extra change, just for another cafe con leche or homemade cookie.
To coincide with my overzealous pastry habit, I enjoy holding up my pastry or treat (that is usually of an extravagant size), comparing it to my face… and asking someone to take a snapshot of it. This trend started surfacing during my trip to San Francisco, where most of the trip was dedicated to finding the best local foods, desserts, and cafes. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take too many food selfies, because my sister and her boyfriend wouldn’t take them for me! *insert agonized face emoji* But, I’ve sifted through my photo album on my laptop and my phone, and have compiled all snapshots of me and food, hehe.
Before you go and start thinking that I’m a fatass for overindulging, I want to explain why I absolutely love food – which sounds really cliche, but I am not sure how else to put it. I love visiting a different country or a different city and seeing what they have to offer. Different regions offer different ingredients, which means that each dish has different aspects of it. There are “imitation” recipes, or, as I like to call them: recipes that cater to a subdued pallete. While looking for different restaurants or cafes to try, I always try to find a place that has a unique menu or something authentic to offer to the table (hehe, catch what I did there?). I believe that trying different foods is the easiest way to take part in someone else’s culture.
When visiting a new place, there are so many new dishes or different snacks to try! For example, snacks in Spain are very different than snacks in the United States. There are typical desserts that locals will always recommend to you, typical dishes, or even a specific dish that is popular to the country (ie: jamón and Spain). Keeping yourself open minded to try all that a country has to offer, even if it may sound strange to you, is so important while traveling! I’ve watched the Travel Network enough to know that there are plenty of shows that feature “strange” foods around the world. Letting preconceived thoughts about this ingredient, this smell, or whatever it is that is holding you back from eating something – just because it looks weird – is probably what I’m trying to tell you, through my slew of awkward placed sentences.
I would have to say that my favorite aspect of traveling is: 1) meeting different people and making connections and 2) trying ALL of the local food that a place has to offer. Tasting different foods expands my mind! I’m able to be a bit more creative with my own cooking (project to come soon with that one), learning new ways to use ingredients, and having a homemade meal from a new place is like someone inviting me into their soul. Does that sound cheesy? Well, it sure is. I’ve visited a few different places and even with family dinners at friends house, someone preparing their own favorite dishes for you, is kindof like a peek into their soul. When I’m cooking for people, I’m choosing my favorite recipes and the best/quality ingredients to use in them. Meals prepared with lots of TLC (tender loving care) are my favorite!
So, I suppose what I’m trying to say is, let go of the thought that you’re about to eat something “weird”… Because I’ve eaten a fried cicada before, and it was actually pretty appetizing (a bit on the salty side, but packed with protein)! Also, a big pet peeve is, nothing revolving food is weird (minus cannibalism). If you’re calling it weird, bad, smelly, etc, you’re just being rude and ignorant. Food is a big part of someone’s culture, and if you’re using the above words to describe something, I would have to say you’re doing it wrong. I try my best to find other describing words for food (ie: different). Food in different cultures is not weird – just different. But, isn’t that the best part about visiting a different culture anyways? You’re looking for different!