The World Seen Through Food

I think of food as a way to present cultures. I know for a fact that what I eat at home is different from what I have seen being served at schools. Living in America you get to experience different cultures, if not by the people around you then by the food you get into contact with. Although what we experience in chain restaurants typically has been influenced by western culture and taste buds (e.g. Panda Express, Olive Garden, etc.) you can still find authentic foreign cuisine if you look hard enough.

Up until high school I’ve rarely eaten anything outside of my mom’s traditional Chinese dishes (so traditional I couldn’t translate some of the ingredients even if I tried) and that was all that I knew of. Once I entered high school I spent more time with friends and going out to eat with them. During those four years I was taken to places like Amalfi’s, Papa Haydn’s, and Mekong Bistro (having friends of different ethnicities helped too; Their parents also cooked different types of food for us.)
Food also does a good job in reflecting one’s culture (i.e. Greek food is simple and healthy and so is their lifestyle). Food can do a lot more than just fuel our bodies to make it through another Monday. It can tell a story of the history of that race by looking at what ingredients are being used, what kind of flavor it possesses, and how it should be eaten (e.g. with a fork, with your hands, etc.).

-Cindy Yu

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