The Hopeful Cook: International Dreams

International Dreams


What’s your favorite? I’m going to give bonus points if you DON’T say Italian. It’s not exactly a fair question, because I’m not going to tell you mine. Mostly because I can’t choose. 

I love to travel. I adore it. I wish I could do it more often. New experiences have always intrigued me. The help us to grow as individuals and give us new perspectives on just about everything. That’s why I’ve always been a big proponent of spending time away from the comfort zones of your family. Form your own opinions and see what other areas have to offer. Even if you stay in the US, different areas are vastly different with practices and norms that are not what you might be used to. This is what travel does, in theory anyway. To be honest, I would love to spend some time living overseas. I think it would be an amazing experience for my three year old. 

 My favorite part of experiencing different cultures is the food, of course. The whole experience is different from America. From the times they eat, how they season, what they drink? It’s all different. In America, there are certain things ingrained in our every day experiences and it never occurs to us that other parts of the globe might do things different. This is why I think travel for everyone is important. It shows us that we as Americans don’t run the world. 

The first time I ate at a restaurant in England, I sat at the table for a long time after because I didn’t know I needed to ask for the check. I’m so used to being brought the check at the end of my meal here. The servers in England didn’t want to rush my experience at their restaurant, so they let me me take my time. After I figured that out, I enjoyed every meal so much more. I felt more relaxed and like the server wasn’t waiting for me to make a quick exit. 

In Colombia, the experience was very family oriented, with a lot of shared dishes and large tables with people gathered around. It was a very immersive experience and I just felt a lot of joy around those tables. It didn’t matter to me that I wasn’t surrounded by my native language and I only every really got the gist of a conversation. I understood enough to know that these were happy people and they were happy to share a bit of their lives with me. One of my favorite meals was cooked in a big pot outside at someone’s home at the base of a mountain. We sat on wooden benches, bowls and mugs in our hands while the farmyard went about it’s business around us. Chickens, cows, goats, and sheep everywhere. 

I was very disappointed when I went to Mexico and, because we stayed at a resort, the food was very bland and just “eh”. Being a huge fan of Mexican food, I was really looking forward to the traditional cuisines of the area and getting a taste of true Mexican food as opposed to the American versions here in the United States. Because of the political climate of the time, it wasn’t necessarily safe to venture out on our own, but during the one excursion we went on, we were able to eat at a more traditional road side restaurant and it was tasty. Lots of rice and seasoned pork on a tortilla. I could have eaten that the entire time I was there! 

It’s hard to narrow down what I really want to try next. I’d like to travel to Greece and eat some real Greek food. One of my favorite festivals in my area is a Greek Festival and the food there is always amazing. I’d love to compare it to the food found in the actual country. But honestly, I will try just about anything once, and if it’s made with love in a very authentic way, I will enjoy it. 

What’s on your list? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Have a happy week, and as always, thank you for sticking with me!