Learning to appreciate cultural cuisine
Recently, I watched a culinary travel show called Bizarre Foods. The American hosts dream job is trekking around the globe in search of bizarre and tasty food adventures. Along the way, he meets some interesting guides, sees beautiful scenery and samples delicious and sometimes very strange local fare.
Watching the show brought me back to my many trips abroad in my teens and twenties. I too have been fortunate enough to savor some amazing meals, meet some fabulous people and see some truly spectacular sights.
From the melt in your mouth Pan Au Chocolat pastry in Paris, to the spicy rich Indian food in Kuala Lumpur, to the Beet borscht and crisp bread with the chewy center in St. Petersburg, I remember many good bites.
One plane ride away from your native shores, you will find yourself in a world full of unique customs, unusual dishes and indigenous people.
Having been born and raised in the U.S, and growing up in the Midwest, where meat and potatoes are standard fare, I never knew there was so much out there to see and to eat! There are certain things that make each culture exclusive and knowing what is unique to them can do much in allowing you to make new friends.
As a Christian, I care about more than just meeting people and trying their food. I desire to make friends thru showing an interest in their culture, their food, and really, just in their way of life. And in doing so, if opportunity comes to reach their heart for Christ, even better!
Just about everyone loves to talk about themselves. So if you start asking the right questions, you will learn plenty about what they are about, where they are from.
Back to food though because it is one thing that is more important than you think! Appreciating a countries cuisine is a rudimentary but often imperative place to start in my view. Why you may ask? Because, it is a common fact that you will be eating every day, simply put.
I have seen fellow travelers with such a big heart for people absolutely offend their host by their refusal to eat the food that is placed before them or by whipping out a snack they brought instead of tasting what was being served to them. By being impolite, sometimes they lost their opportunity to secure a relationship which could have benefited both of their lives in some way. (to be continued)
See Part 2 …