This is part of Small Planet Studio’s My Global Life Link-up. Check out the great community over there!
Even if this is your first visit to my blog, I’m sure you have figured out just how into food I am. Food and culture are inextricably linked. In my mind, it is impossible to separate the two. When traveling, I am most into figuring out the food scene, learning about the customs that surround meals, and emulating those behaviors when I am in that country. Sometimes I try to carry over a particular practice to my own culture and everyday life-which isn’t always successful. For instance, in morocco, nothing beats mint tea on a sunny evening (or any time of day). I have recreated the Moroccan mint tea ritual in my own home using the tea pot and glasses from Marrakech, mint from my garden and the strongest gunpowder green tea leaves I could find. I added plenty of sugar and poured the tea in the most dramatic fashion learned during my time in various Moroccan towns. It is yummy. But it’s not quite the same. Another cultural appropriation, if you will, is sangria. Even though I prefer a glass of vino tinto when I’m in Spain, there is something about a cool refreshing copa de sangria on a warm Spanish day. When recreating this at home, I am never satisfied. I have followed recipes given to me by people from Spain, but it’s not quite the same. I was just in Prague for a few days, while the hubby is covering for someone in the Irish embassy (yes, he is a big deal all of a sudden) and I am enjoying my fair share of pivo, of the Pilsner persuasion. This is not usually my beer of choice at home. But I cannot seem to get enough of it here. Maybe it’s the heat or maybe it’s the fact that it’s cheaper than water, but I’m suddenly craving that crisp taste of a beer that, when I’m home, this IPA-loving-chick would describe as plain or boring. When drinking (or eating) in another culture, it isn’t just our taste buds at work. The reason things taste better while traveling is because all of your senses are heightened. You are taking in everything around you. The temperature and feel of the air. The sound of the languages being spoken nearby. The views of gorgeous landscapes or historical architecture. There is also something to be said about consuming something in the place in which it is from. The same reason wine tastes better after a tour of the vineyard it is produced on, your senses have become accustomed to those surroundings. This isn’t to say that food and drink can’t be enjoyed once you are away from its culture of origin. But, for me, the enjoyment is through nostalgia and reflecting on the memories from that particular place. What have you consumed while traveling that you recreate in your home culture? Is it ever quite the same?