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Eating Around the World...At Home

Have you ever wondered what the most popular food in another country is? Wanted to visit somewhere so you could taste some of items you have seen, read, or heard about. Have you ever looked at your bank account and thought, I wish I could but just can't right now. Well, you may not be able to travel right now, but that doesn't mean you can't experience local delicacies from around the world, without ever leaving your home town.

It is a great big world we live in, full of different cultures and food and drink. Fortunately for many of us, we live in a town and know people from other parts of the world. Getting to know different people is a great way to expand not just our social circles but also enlighten and enhance our cultural and gastronomic experiences as well. For example, did you know that in Vietnamese culture, it is considered rude for a person younger than you to accept anything with only one hand? In many latin cultures, a young ladies fifteenth birthday, or her quinceañera, is celebrated as her coming of age...very similar to that of a young ladies "Sweet 16" (sixteenth birthday) often celebrated in the United States. All of this to say, if you want to learn about or participate in some new and different cultures, but aren't in a position to travel, try meeting some of your neighbors.

I recently had a dinner with a few new friends. We decided to each make something to eat that was popular where we were from. We had food and drinks from Vietnam, Indonesia, Germany and the United States. What we ate and drank, was a delicious and eccentric mix of foods and beverages that absolutely delighted the tastebuds and broadened our pallets.

We had fresh and fried spring rolls, that dipped in one of the two fish sauces (spicy and regular) tasted heavenly. We had a Thai pasta that was so spicy it made you sweat, but so flavorful you kept going back for more. We had homemade (American) biscuits served with a black pepper cream gravy; and we washed it all down with a fabulously chilled German rosé that was the perfect finish.

Don't be afraid to step out of your box and undertake some new foods or beverages. Aside from possibly finding something you never realized you love, you just might make some new friends too!

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