Photo courtesy of: Office of Education Abroad
May 13, 2011
By Heather Farr
After spending a quarter in Mérida, Mexico, sophomore Kathryn Mitchell never wants to eat a hamburger again.
“There are no sufficient words to describe the food in Mérida. Everything is made fresh. Leftovers are rare, and you may not believe it, but it’s possible to add black beans to every dish on the table,” she said. “I honestly did not eat one thing there that I did not enjoy or would not eat again.”
Experiencing the unique tastes of other countries is one of the most interesting and exciting parts of an international experience. This month, students, staff and community members will get the opportunity to experience the flavors of more than 25 international locations all in one place: A Taste of Study Abroad.
Free and open to the public, the sixth annual event will take place Wednesday, May 18, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Grover Atrium as a part of International Week 2011.
Hosted by the Office of Education Abroad, A Taste of Study Abroad will showcase opportunities to study, work, teach, intern or volunteer abroad through OHIO and its affiliate providers. Program directors and alumni will be available to answer questions about their programs. In addition, attendees will get to sample international food from Ghana to Hong Kong.
According to Director of the Office of Education Abroad Catherine Marshall, food often helps travelers “get their foot in the door” of other cultures.
“Although wonderful international food is not the only reason a student should want to go abroad, food is such a great entry point into a culture,” Marshall said. “In many places, mealtime is the best opportunity individuals have to meet, talk and really connect with one another.”
For a full list of International Week events, visit www.ohio.edu/internationalweek.
“I ate haggis: the organs of a sheep, minced/diced up and encased inside the lining of the sheep’s stomach. They boil it and serve it with potatoes and sauce. Sometimes, it’s served inside of a piece of chicken. Verdict: Not as good as Pita Pit or Big Mama’s burrito."
“The strangest thing I had abroad was chicken flavored Lays potato chips that we got in a London grocery store. They really tasted like chicken! It freaked us all out because we thought Lays chips were the same everywhere, but in London, they even had cheeseburger as a flavor. We learned later that each continent has its own flavors."
“Once when I went to Northern Italy on Lake Como, I ordered pasta with sea fruits, which ended up being a mixture of edible sea life creatures. This included a boiled purple squid - with suckers on the tentacles and all. It wasn’t bad!"
“In Ecuador, we ate guinea pig on three separate occasions. Usually, people compare other meats to tasting like chicken, but let's just say guinea pig tastes nothing like chicken! It's pretty greasy and is made up mostly of fat. The skin of the guinea pig is actually what people enjoy the most.”
“I was in Camargue, France and in the same meal, I ate escargots (almost raw snails) without any sauce, and taureau (bull) with rice. That was definitely an experience.”