Food, glorious food! Eating local cuisine is an important part of any trip abroad. Sampling a country’s delicacies can help you understand its culture, its customs and its people. However, when you are abroad for a prolonged period of time, it is understandable that you might start to miss the cuisine that you have grown up with and that reminds you of home.
Currently I am living in Canada and am very lucky because I love a lot of the traditional food here, especially as some of it is similar to food in the UK. It is quite easy to find food such as baked beans, shepherd’s pie (called pâté chinois in Quebec), meat pie (tourtière) and fish and chips, which are all British staples but were not very commonplace when I lived in France, for instance! Yet it can never be quite the same. For example, the fish and chips here are not as greasy as at home. Of course, this is a good thing for my health, but not for my cravings! Also, mushy peas and vinegar are not a main part of the fish and chip supper in Quebec; once when I ordered the dish in a restaurant, it even came with salad and rice!
Nevertheless, globalisation means that many types of cuisine have spread to other countries in one form or another. The UK has a plethora of Indian, Chinese and Italian restaurants. Indigenous people from these countries may not always think that the food cooked here is sufficiently authentic, but the meals are very popular all the same. My friends and family joke that I cannot go a week without my favourite meal of spaghetti bolognaise. It is true that in almost every country I have visited, I have enjoyed a meal of spaghetti bolognaise; in Canada, Germany, Spain, Romania and even in Thailand! Though I always make sure I enjoy the local cuisine too. If you can, it is nice to taste a bit of everything!
From my time in Canada so far, I already know that there will be food I am going to miss when I return home, not least the delicious maple syrup. I will have to make sure that I have enough room in my suitcase to pack a few large bottles of the country’s tastiest treat!
What are your favourite foods and dishes from other countries? Do you prefer international food or your country's traditional food?