Someone interesting once told me that patriotism was nothing more than fond memories of the food you ate during your childhood. I cherished this lovely thought and reflected on it while returning home.
My favorite BA Food Blog – Pick Up The Fork – wrote a mouthwatering post about the food she ate when she was home, and the furious frenzy of impassioned comments that ensued confirmed this idea that our patriotism may indeed by deeply connected to our culinary cultures. Seriously, read the comments.
In my own experience of returning home I found my reverse culture shock was most blatantly manifested in food and dining experiences. Perhaps that is because the very first thing I did when I arrived home was to visit a restaurant.
I arrived in Seattle at 11:30 on a Thursday I was met at the airport by my Uncle who treated me to lunch. The meal was an unending series of shocks. The menu was labeled for vegetarian and gluten free options. The waitress brought our menus over immediately. We were served unlimited ice water. I was carded. When our waitress asked to take our order and I needed another minute to read the menu, she came back exactly a minute later. I could barely keep it together. It was a great meal, shock included.
I had a farro salad with beets, hazelnuts and goat cheese.
And a Northwest brewed beer in a frosted glass!
I had many other food related culture shocks – often at the grocery store. I begged Blair to take me to Whole Foods just to soak up the awesomeness. It was overwhelming and beautiful!
Environmentally conscious Seattle has a great recycling system:
Also blown away at the countless flavor variety of chips available – none of them meat flavored like the popular Lay’s Lomo Chips.
And the candy selections available were absolutely insane. Insanely awesome.
Of course when in Seattle, get loaded on caffeine like the Seattlites. No place does it better, or prettier!
Seattle is a fantastic foodie destination. Northwest cuisine is so fresh, inventive, healthy and loaded with seafood. I took advantage.
During my first week in Seattle I also re-familiarized myself with an old favorite – thai food! Delicious Pad Kee Mao:
Also had the chance to try something quite exotic for me – ‘Urban Style Korean Comfort Food’ at Revel in Seattle. We tried the Cauliflower ricotta, black truffle sesame and pickled leek dumplings:
And a Dungeness crab, seaweed noodle, creme fraiche, spicy red curry noodle dish. Delicious.
Of course a reoccuring theme on M.B.A is my fondness for brunch…obviously being back home I was in brunchers paradise.
Eggs Benedict at Portage Bay Cafe, Seattle.
My last evening at home I celebrated my birthday with my family and enjoyed an all time favorite: the classic carrot cake. Thanks Mom!
Living abroad for two years was an unbelievable and infinitely interesting experience, but I have to say that returning home after two years and seeing everything with new eyes was even better.