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WORLDLY FLAVORS Gabriel Foy, a freshman at Carnegie Vanguard High School, enjoys learning about other cultures through food. Here he’s pictured in lavender fields in the south of France.
This past year I visited Hawaii, Peru, Europe, Alaska and Puerto Rico. I noticed while traveling that local foods are an excellent way to experience the culture of a place. Enjoying local foods in combination with sightseeing enhances the experience. I learned about the people and their history through their food.
Trying local food can give you a sense of the place. When I went to Alaska and I ate salmon and king crab legs that were fished in Alaska, I learned from the fisherman the biology and the history of salmon in Alaska. It was amazing to watch the salmon swimming against the current.
While in Peru, I made ceviche using locally sourced food. It was fun experiencing their traditional ingredients and methods to make the ceviche. The food tasted fantastic, and I can now prepare it at home.
In London, I went to a restaurant called Dishoom, which makes delicious Indian food. India used to be a colony of Great Britain, and there are many Indian people and traditions in England. Over time, Indian food in Britain has developed its own personality, blending both cultures. The food was fantastic and blended a distant city with the one I was in.
Not everything I have tried has been a favorite. Guinea pig is a delicacy among Peruvians. The meat was roasted over a large fire. It was a bit tough and had a unique taste. I was unaware that guinea pig was anything but a pet. While not my favorite, opening your taste buds to new things enhances the travel experience.
Wherever I travel, I look forward to learning as much as I can about the place. Locally sourced foods and the regional cuisine are important parts of the experience, which you can share with your family and friends. My advice is to try everything and be open to new flavors and ways of cooking.
Pain au chocolat and escargot are a must in France.
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