I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with food over my lifetime. I battled an eating disorder throughout middle and high school. A lot of my recovery process involved eating foods that I was comfortable with. As I got healthier, I began to try foods that were out of my comfort zone. For a long time, foreign foods were decidedly on the “unknown” list. I didn’t know what the ingredients were or how they were prepared, so there was no way I could know how many calories or nutrients they contained. But, as I’ve recovered, foreign foods have become, well, less scary.
One of the prompts directly relates:
“Go to a restaurant that serves foreign food you’ve never tried before. What did you try? How was it? Describe the appearance, smell, taste, and texture. How do you feel about trying foreign foods while you’re abroad?”
For this assignment, I went to Sweet Basil in Norman to try Thai food for the first time. I got the classic Thai street dish: pad thai. And oh my goodness, my life was changed. It was delicious. When they brought the dish out to me, it was a thing of beauty. A full plate of steaming noodles and a fried egg on top. Amongst the noodles, were a variety of vegetables and chicken (side note, who knew bean sprouts were so good?). It also had peanuts, and who doesn’t love a dish with peanuts? It smelled vaguely spicy; even though I only got a 2 out of 5 on the spice scale. I am definitely a lightweight when it comes to spice, and I was sweating in my seat. But by no means did that detract from my experience. It had soft noodles and crisp vegetables. I can understand why people go crazy about it.
When I go to Turkey this summer, I will be exposed to a whole new variety of tastes and dishes. I am so excited to try anything and everything while abroad. In fact, I will get 10% extra credit in one of my classes if I try at least 10 new Turkish dishes. With that kind of bonus in mind, how could I not try new things?
Most of my experiences with new foreign foods have been stellar. There was one time that I tried a traditional German dish. I’ll be honest; it was disgusting. However, aside from that, I’ve had nothing but positive experiences. I hope I can continue to broaden my horizons and try new things.