Eat the World – Food in Europe versus America – by Ana María Camelo Vega. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at and

Eat the World – Food in Europe versus America – by Ana María Camelo Vega. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at and


Most of us have fond memories of our childhood. Growing up, few things sticks to us as strong as food did. Whether it was your mom’s homemade key lime pie, or a gross mixture you did not even know what was in it, food has always been key to transporting and evolving our senses in time. Growing up in Colombia I was exposed to, of course, the typical Colombian food. It was later on when I started trying different foods. Clearly, it has been a process of getting to know what you like and what you do not. Nevertheless, what I think is the most amazing thing about food is all that it implies.

I personally think food itself is a whole culture onto itself.

Everything revolves around food. It is amazing to see how food reflects a whole geographical, historical and cultural background. Latin American food, for instance, is characterized by the use of corn. There are multiple maize-based dishes all over the region, such as tortillas, tamales, tacos, pupusas, arepas, and elote asado. Precisely, this is the reflection of the historical and geographical background of the region. In this case, Latin American indigenous groups thought of corn as the greatest gift from the Gods. It was the most valued good, even more than gold.


After traveling outside my country, I have noticed how the culture around food changes dramatically depending on the region. Even in the same country, food is significantly different depending on the geography. In Colombia, for instance, breakfast is an important meal. However, there’s plenty of options to choose from. In the central zone, the traditional breakfast is called “changua”. This is basically a milk soup with eggs. I know, it sounds interesting. This dish comes from one of Colombia’s indigenous groups: the Muisca people. In this region you can also find tamales, which are usually eaten for breakfast on Sundays; and “almojábana” with hot chocolate. Here, it is important to clarify that Latin American hot chocolate is completely different to American hot chocolate, which was one of my biggest food-frustrations when I first moved to the U.S. If you go to the “Eje Cafetero” you will find different breakfasts. One of them is the typical “calentao”, which literally means “heated”. This is usually the night before’s leftovers, reheated and mixed. There’s also the “arepa paisa”, which is a flatbread made of cooked corn flour, and commonly is served with toppings such as butter, cheese, scrambled eggs or meat. In the Colombian coast, clearly, the food is different. The Caribbean region breakfasts include “arepa de huevo”, which is a deep fried arepa made from yellow corn dough with an egg inside that is cooked by the frying process. It is also common for people to have fried plantain with cheese for breakfast. The list could go on, but I think I’ve proven my point.


This is how, during my European adventure, I decided to look deeper into its food culture.

Firstly, breakfast is smaller. From what I was able to experience in London, Paris, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Munich, Santorini and Athens, it is more customary to eat smaller meals for breakfast. It was interesting to see that probably the biggest breakfast I found was in London, which was pretty similar to the typical American breakfast. Once again, I was able to make the connection to the historical background and relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. Other than that, most people tend to have either a biscuit, croissant or toast, accompanied by coffee, tea or hot chocolate.


Putting this in perspective, I was able to confirm that American portions are indeed bigger than average. When I came to the United States, the only thing I could compare them with was with Latin American portions, which are indeed bigger than European, but way smaller than American.

Secondly, ingredients are different. Yes, this seems like a logical statement. Nonetheless, it is impressive to see the actual difference between the ingredients used in every place. The freshness and the way food is prepared absolutely changes the way people enjoy food. Pizza is the perfect example for this. European pizza is, in general, served individually, characterized by its thin crust, simple ingredients, sauces made from scratch and a not as cheesy/greasy consistency. On the other hand, American pizza is, in general, thick -even stuffed- crust, extra cheesy, and made from frozen dough. Both of them are delicious, but they are not the same in any way. It is not a surprise for anyone that American pizza is considered to be fast food. European pizza is not. Again, this reflects the culture.


Thirdly, it caught my attention the way in which meals are distributed. For instance, in Latin America, breakfast tends to be significant, lunch tends to be the biggest meal in the day, and dinner tends to be lighter. This is not the case in the U.S.. From my experience, I have seen that breakfast is usually significant, lunch lighter, and dinner tends to be the biggest meal of the day. Along this, there is a lot of snacking in the United States. Snacks are a huge part of the market and of every day’s routine. This is not the case in Europe. Farmer’s markets are much more common in Europe and Latin America than in the U.S.. Clearly, this makes a difference at the time of analyzing the different food cultures.

There is no doubt that depending on the country, city, or even region, food will be different. Most importantly, food will reflect the differences between the cultures. After traveling around different cities, different countries and different continents, one of the biggest lessons I learned is to simply go out there and eat the world!

Ana Maria serves as an editor for The North Star Reports.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at)

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53 responses to “Eat the World – Food in Europe versus America – by Ana María Camelo Vega. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at and

    • Greta

      This was an interesting article to read about food because food is part of what makes us human. People tend to have some kind of food at any gather, small or large, with our closest friends and family’s but also sometimes strangers. Just like St. Scholastica feast day were everyone was brought together by food. When it’s someone’s birthday there is always food to be served or even at a graduation party. Also, it’s pretty cool to see all the different kinds of food other countries have to offer when you travel to other part of the world that you aren’t familiar with. We all know that food is a huge part of bringing people together and that’s an amazing thing.

    • Reid Peterson

      Thank you, Ana, for the intriguing report about food from around the world compared to each other, along with the geographical, historical, and cultural significance that resonates among the people and culture. There was one comment in particular that I found to be very interesting, and that was your comment regarding the freshness of pizza. Though that is such a tiny example of how European food compares to America styles, I think that says a TON about the culture, in respects to the difference between capitalism and socialism. Capitalistic societies tend to focus less on the individual needs and more on what makes the company/business the most money. This reflects, in my opinion, the way in which the freshness of food is so much poorer in America compared to other places, such as Europe since those nations practice much more socialistic practices. There are always pros and cons to every way of life, and both work to an extent, however, how much does the economic preference of a nation influence the way of daily life? The freshness of food and produce is simply an after effect what nations have to decide where to take their economic practices. I don’t know about you, but I want fresh pizzas.

    • DyAnna Grondahl

      Ana Maria,

      I enjoy this post a lot. Just last Monday, we spent three hours in our Human Rights course talking about the importance of food in relation to all things human. It’s a form of language, and it is something that everyone, while we may do things differently, can agree on its importance. Looking into the different cultures of food is a highly interesting experience. I think it is especially interesting that cultures each have a way of generating food, there seems to be a commonality of sharing food (at least in some respect).

      Thank you

    • Paige Perreira

      I always love a good food story! It’s very interesting to learn about international food and how the traditions go along with each different culture. Food is sort of a universal language in a way, because everyone can relate to food in one way or another. Each culture has it’s own unique way about how they cook and eat their food, and for holidays especially, there can be extreme variations. I think it would be so cool to be able to experience food from different cultures.

  1. Kalahan Larson

    I found this article very interesting and relatable. Food definitely is a culture within itself, but I would definitely say that food is what both differs and connects different cultures. Food is a big part of what brings people together- at least in American culture. Most holidays in the states, we gather with our friends and family to eat and enjoy each others company. We have certain meals on certain days- on birthdays, we often have birthday cake and ice cream, whereas on thanksgiving, the table is usually full of turkey and potatoes.

  2. Grace Young

    I really enjoyed reading this article because not only do I love food, but I love comparing cultures around the world. I really liked your point about how food itself is it’s own culture. I really agree with that statement. I also liked how you linked the various types of food with certain cultures. It shows different values and rituals that the cultures have which I think is super cool! I haven’t had the opportunity to travel outside of the United States so I think it would be interesting to see and taste the many types of food. Food is such a solid foundation in many cultures and it is a great place to start while looking at a community. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Der Yang

    Hello Ana,
    First off, I would like to say how much I envy your opportunities in traveling and eating foods across the world. My family and I do not get to travel much. Therefore, traveling is one of my future goals. Anyway, I definitely see the difference in food portions around the world compared to the US. I have seen many articles that showed how Americans eat much more bigger plates throughout the day, even including snacks as you stated above. However, I can not entirely say if this is good or bad. I can only say that it is apart of our culture and have developed to become this way. All in all, I would love to visit as many places as you have already gone to. Including the amazing foods you have tasted! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Hi Ana! Thank you for sharing. I have to say that food is one of the largest influences I have found on traveling. As I have found as well, Americans eat much larger portions, which explains a lot on how other countries view us. Someday I hope to have visited as many countries as you!

  5. Matthew Breeze

    I really appreciate how you talk about portion sizes and the different sizes of each meal in different regions of the world. I wonder why breakfast is bigger in some places and other meals are bigger or smaller in other places. Maybe this has to do with the climate? Maybe this has something to do with the historical work schedule or historical industries of a country or region. The other point that I find interesting in your article is how you talk about history playing a role in what we eat. The significance of corn in Latin America for instance, or that American and English breakfasts are relatively similar. I like this because I think we sometimes forget that our food tell a lot about our history and what groups have influenced our food over time.

  6. Kathleen Reicher

    Thank you for sharing! Your findings about how food differs by country is very interesting. We often analyze cultures based on clothing or traditions, but food, like you said, is a very big part of culture as well. I have not been to very many places outside of the United States, but I hope to travel a lot more later in my life. After reading your article, I will definitely make sure that when I travel, I try lots of different types of food. It is interesting that certain meals have more emphasis in other cultures. Like you said, Americans put emphasis on dinner as the big meal of the day, but I did not know that, in other countries, lunch or breakfast is the big meal of the day. I had also heard that American portions are much bigger, but for you to confirm that was interesting. Overall, very interesting findings!

  7. Bryce Gadke

    I enjoyed the multicultural exploration that you have experienced with food! I have not traveled extensively, but I understand that food is a direct reflection of the people’s priorities. The snacking that you mentioned seems second nature to me, and I am rather curious as to why it is less valued in other places. Is snacking convenience based, or does it fall under the realm of “I want this now, so I will just have it.”? The priorities of different cultures are evident in your piece, and I am thankful for the exploration you have experienced and the sharing of ideas you have ignited here. I will try better in the future to go out and eat the world.

  8. Trevor Schwartz

    I really agree with what you have to say in this article when it comes to food and geography. Food is different across cultures, which is what makes different cultures unique. Even though the food is meant to be eaten, it has such a deeper influence on us as human beings across all cultures. Food brings us together whether it is a holiday or just a family meal. We sit, eat, celebrate, and overall come together. Food is just such a great thing!

  9. Dylan Brovick

    This article was very interesting and different from some of the other articles I have read on food. When I began reading this it made me think about the foods that I enjoyed and still remember today. Most of them are foods that i remember always eating around my Grandma because they were usually only meals or deserts that she made. One of them is a strawberry salad that I have not had made for me by anyone else. Another idea about food that this article made me think of is how when my family went on vacations we always talked about the different foods that were more common in certain areas. When we go an visit my aunt and uncle on the east coast in Maryland we are always amazed by how much better and how much more seafood is served in almost all of the restaurants we went to. The region has a lot of fishing and a lot of the food is fresh because it doesn’t travel far to be sold again. Another region that I notice the food is different is when we visit our other uncle out west in Montana. Almost every restaurant we go to has the option for a bison burger instead of normal beef. The first time i tried it was in Montana and now it is the only food I get when we go out west because it tastes super good and because almost all restaurants near my uncles house offer. Food is very interesting in the way it changes from region to region and in the way that people serve it.

  10. Michaela Campbell

    Food is one of those topics that I feel you could talk about for hours and always would have funny/odd/new experiences to discuss. I like the comparisons you made between Colombia, Europe, and the US with regards to food as they are completely different from one another. From what you described in Columbia about breakfast, I think it is fascinating that different regions within Columbia have different types of breakfast foods they would prefer. In contrast to the US, like every meal, serves up huge breakfast platters, but it appears that even though geographically, the US is large, we generally as a nation eat the same types of things for breakfast. In addition to Europe, I had a similar experience with the smaller food portion sizes, even their coffees were smaller than I expected (and in some places more expensive than larger US sizes). I hope to hear more about your heritage and experiences from living in Columbia, as Latin American heritage is something I’ve always found to be so interesting!

  11. Alexa Lee

    I also think it is very interesting to see how food is a language in itself and how certain dishes are reserved for different things – and say different things. I also think it’s interesting to explore how foods are similar and reflect each other. Food is something that really connects people and is a way to deepen those connections, but also make new ones. Like if someone serves an outsider a sacred dish, that is really special. My Spanish teacher in high school also told us how the meals are reversed, and once a year we would have traditional plates and portion sizes. That was always my favorite because it was a new way to learn about the cultures I was reading in my textbook.

  12. Amanda Sullivan

    Wonderful article! Food is something, internationally, that everyone simply loves and can go on and on about. I liked your point about the size comparison of each meal you have tried in every continent. It does not surprise me that the United States has one of the largest portion sizes. Also, your point about how important each meal is in every country. I thought dinner was, universally, one of the biggest meals. I never realized that it was different in various cultures.

  13. Emily Bugni

    It is interesting that a short 4.5 hour drive brings you to a new destination with a new cuisine. I am from the upper peninsula of Michigan and the food we eat there is totally different from here in Minnesota. We like to eat pasties which are like a meat pie. They are really good with ketchup. The first week of school I was talking about pasties with my friends and they looked clueless. I had to explain to them that pasties were meat with a crust around it and then they finally understood. Another dish that we serve in Michigan is porketta. Porketta is a decent sized piece of pork that is rubbed with a bunch of spicy spices. Again, when I mentioned this, I received looks like I was from another planet. I guess I was never aware that such a short geographical distance could make such a huge difference in cuisine.

  14. Joel Scheuerlein

    It is absolutely amazing to see how food changes throughout different cultures, and I wish some day to experience them all. One thing that I feel food does, is define a culture. It is amazing to think that by just naming a food your mind correlates it to a culture. For instance pizza is from Italy, tacos from Mexico, and sour kraut is from Germany. Food has taken on more then just sustenance. It is a way of life, it describes your culture, your greatest holiday memories, and when your eating college food, nothing would be better then your moms homemade biscuits and gravy. So to learn all these stories, I guess your really do have to eat the world.

  15. Megan Bingham

    I think that this article is so important! Thank you for sharing your opinion because I agree with it. I think that food is its own type of culture. It is so different in every country, state, and even household. Food is typically available at all family rituals and really anything we do. Food is still different at every event though and that is part of what makes it so very interesting.

  16. Kendra Brunn

    Thank you for sharing this interesting article! Whenever I travel somewhere new, I always make an effort to try the staple foods of that area. Like you, I find it interesting to compare that food with the food I eat at home. I am always pleasantly surprised, as I am not a picky eater at all. One thing I have noticed is that most of the foods I eat at home do not have very many spices! After traveling to Puerto Rico, I started putting spices on everything because it makes the food so much more flavorful. I love that you take time to make observations about the food that you eat in different countries, it makes the experience so much better!

  17. Francesca Do

    Hello Ana,
    This story is very unique and tasty at the same time! I agree with you that “food itself is a whole culture onto itself” I believed as human beings we find pleasure in eating food. I personally love trying new foods, even if it doesn’t look appealing to the eyes. I think its important to at least taste different kind of flavors around the world, knowing that their is more to food than salt and pepper. This story reminds me of my own country’s traditional food, for different regions also serve different kinds of food! Northern Vietnam tends to use less spices, while Central Vietnam is known for their hot and spicy flavors, and Southern Vietnam is characterized by their sweet and refreshing flavors in their dishes. Thank you for bringing back some happy memories and sharing your experience with us.

  18. McKenna Holman

    Food is always an interesting thing to experience when you travel. Food is an important aspect to every culture and I enjoy that you weaved that into your article. I noticed how different food was when I was in the U.K. over Christmas. My aunt, uncle, and grandparents went out for breakfast one day after dropping my cousins off at school and I had my very first full English Breakfast. It was completely different than anything I’ve ever had for breakfast before, but still good! I noticed exactly what you did about Europe- breakfast was indeed smaller than the U.S.! Options were more limited and portions were definitely smaller, and yet still filling. It was really typical to come across coffee shops everywhere, where they offered small breakfast items that are generally more popular for breakfast than a large breakfast would be. When you were in London did you try Yorkshire pudding? My aunt told me than anyone who comes to England must have Yorkshire pudding, so of course I tried it. It was different than anything I’ve ever had before, but very good! I’m excited to experience different foods as I continue to travel across the world, because food can tell you so much about culture.

  19. Hanna McLevish

    This was a really cool story to read! Thanks for sharing with us! I agree with you when you say food is it’s own culture. Not only that, it brings people together. At almost every event you go to whether its a holiday, a sporting event, or a concert, food is always there bringing people together!

  20. Nouqouja Yang

    Hi Ana Maria! This was a really well written and interesting article to read. I loved how you talked about what you are familiar with while growing up, and then continuing with what was new. The comparing and contrasting made it easy to imagine and compare foods from different areas. I’ve had international friends tell me that the food in America is a lot greasier than what they are use to. I definitely agree with you on your statements about food and culture. The way we are living and how we are prioritizing things can definitely be seen in food. The culture in America could be explained in many ways because of our fast foods. For example, too expensive to eat healthy, poverty having more access to fast food than regular groceries, too busy with work or school to cook regularly…etc. There has been articles comparing Europe and America on working and vacations. It stated that Americans still work even though they were on vacation, while in Europe, they’re encouraged to just enjoy their time instead of rushing to finish. Culture is really different everywhere and it’s interesting to see how things are when being compared. Thank you for sharing! I really enjoyed your article.

  21. Ashley Kittelson

    I have not had the opportunity to travel outside of the U.S., but one thing I am looking forward to is trying new foods. In particular, I want to know how Mexican food, for example, in Mexico differs from the Mexican food served in Mexican restaurants here in Duluth. There will likely be some ingredients that are not available here which may affect how and what food is made. The article also points out that meal sizes also differ among countries. I am curious to see if I will adapt to smaller meals or just order extra food.

  22. Elaina Wald

    The statement “food is a whole culture” it completely accurate. Not only does it differ in preparation, ingredients, and size like you mentioned, but it differs in significance. It sounds cliche, but food has a way of bringing people together and creating memories. I come from a large Italian family and every gathering is planned around the meal at hand. When someone is enduring any kind of hardship, my Italian grandmother’s immediate refrain is “I’ll cook them some lasagna.” If someone does well on an exam or gets a job promotion, we have a spaghetti dinner. In our family and the Italian culture, food is a comforting mechanism as well as a method of celebration. I hope to have an opportunity to “eat the world” someday myself!

  23. Caroline Grube

    This article really caught my attention! Food has always been a big part of my life. I have learned to associate it with family gatherings, and time spent as a family. However, I also agree that food is a culture within itself! From my experience, rural areas tend to eat more red meat and start supper at later times. But in Duluth, I have noticed that there is much more chicken and lighter meat, and supper is usually eaten before six at night. This took a lot of getting used to as I am from a very small town in southwest Minnesota and am used to the red meat and later dining times. I have noticed one thing that is generally the same around the country and I would assume the world, food tends to bring people together.

  24. Sarah Plankers

    What an excellent perspective, food itself truly is a culture. Specifically, I enjoy that you explored the meaning behind foods and how they culturally align with certain peoples. Here in the U.S. I think it’s fair to say that we often eat so much without thinking who made the food, where it came from, the resources it took to get here, etc. Where as in other countries they often have the tendency to eat more locally and fresh (like you mentioned with the farmers markets) and often times have a more deep connection to specific dishes and food types. Personally, I have tried my best to eat locally and seasonally in order to help sustain the environment. Traveling is an excellent way to learn about culture, and how wonderful it is that food is surely a part of a cultural experience.

  25. Avnish Miyangar

    Food is definitely its own culture. The variety is endless and your article has very descriptive comparisons. Portion size is very key and I agree Pizza is not considered fast food. It is also so different wherever you go. I have had the chance to eat in both Europe and America and I am still contemplating which I prefer. For me the convenience of food from different cultures here is harder to find than back in England. That may just be because I am more familiar with England but thanks for sharing your experience.

  26. Isabella Restrepo-Toro

    I must agree with you in saying that food itself is a culture as it reflects a whole geographical, historical and cultural background of an area. I believe that the best way to actually get to know the world is by eating its food as it tell us so much about the region itself as well as the customs in its people. I definitely understand your frustration regarding hot chocolate, as even though I’ve come to enjoy American hot chocolate, Colombian hot chocolate still has the number one place in my heart and stomach. As you mentioned some of the differences that you noticed in your travels, I must say that I was not surprised with your observations as I have noticed the same. People all over the world seem to have different notions on adequate food portions. I personally believe that breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day, however as a Colombian I usually make my lunches bigger than my breakfast. Then, when you mentioned the different ingredients, I didn’t think about the food item itself but instead focused on its freshness, as it is one of the things I miss the most from being back home. The fact that most of the food items you see in a grocery store in Duluth are usually full of preservatives changes the flavor and in my opinion the quality, which is what I am personally looking for. I hope you continue to explore the flavors the world has to offer.

  27. Kalley Friederichs

    Ana, thanks for sharing your experience with us! I find it so interesting how different foods can be from one country to the next. I enjoyed reading this article because one of my favorite things about traveling too is trying new and authentic foods. I have also noticed the differences in portion sizes while traveling abroad and found it interesting that you brought this up. I find fascinating all of the different things that influence the foods of different cultures.

  28. Rachel Reicher

    Thank you for sharing your experience! It is wonderful that you were able to make connections and compare your food choices back to your home country of the U.S. It struck me as odd when you mentioned the portion sizes of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Is there a reason for the difference from the U.S.? Also, snacking seems to be a big part of other regions of the world. It would be wonderful to get more farmers markets around the U.S., especially because we can grow such delicious foods here. It is important that we can offer those goods to our people, or people of the land, instead of shipping them over seas for trade. Each country having its own unique food choice and preference makes each country unique in itself. If every country prepared food exactly the same, what would be the attraction to many well-known food countries? Contrary to the same foods prepared in the same places, I have experienced American food prepared in resorts in Mexico. You would think traveling to a new place, they would serve you their food and not your home’s food. Interesting. It is great to hear you experiencing the world through food, because who doesn’t like traveling and food all in one!

  29. Thomas Landgren

    Thank you for sharing. I really liked how you were able to compare portion sizes from Latin America, Europe, and the United States. Most people don’t really realize that food can describe the culture it is a part of. I also found it interesting that you brought up how breakfast is small, lunch is a medium size, and dinner is fairly big in the US. I have never really looked at that before until reading this article. I wonder why that is? I also found it very interesting how you saw the similarity in the English breakfast and the United States one. It is interesting on how much history food can tell about a place. Great Article!

  30. William Brennhofer

    i don’t think I have ever thought of food as being so specific to a culture. Like I understand that as an american I eat differently then most other places. Also how it changes based on the region that you come from makes a lot of sense to me, because being from Minnesota we eat more hearty foods then that of the south because of the temperatures. I love how you were able to see the similarities between European countries and that if the places that they colonized. I think the overall idea of food to a culture is a very interesting idea and now i want to look in to it a little more.

  31. Mariah Koenig

    I really enjoyed reading your article! It was really interesting to learn about the differences and similarities between not only the various countries foods, but also the portion sizes. I found similar things when I traveled to Costa Rica. Even the “same” foods we have here were different there. I’m not sure if this is also reflected in other countries, but in Costa Rica, it is very common to have many small meals throughout the day, rather than only breakfast lunch and dinner. I think it is important to learn about food from around the world because food is a huge part of culture and you can learn a lot about an region by what types of food they eat, and what is a food staple. I would love to travel around and be able to learn about all of those different cultures the way you did!

  32. Ellen Hansem

    As someone who has always been attached to food as a cultural mechanism, as so many are, I loved this article. Looking specifically at your insights on pizza, it is interesting to see how two cultures can have one name for two very separate things, due mainly to the strong sway of local taste. It is almost like our food products undergo an evolution of sorts, being shifted in favor of local climate while holding on to small hints of their original form. Overall, food can be used as a tool to teach. It highlights our cultural tendencies for others and gives us a universal language of sorts, allowing us to share and expand our cultural realm.

  33. I definitely agree that food is a huge part of all cultures. One of the key parts of history is the agricultural revolution that was the start to our excess food supply today. Every place you went held food as very important, but the many slight differences seemed very interesting. Sounds like the U.S. lives up to its reputation of loving food, and snacks for the go. We like to be efficient, and have things done as quickly as possible. Although we like pure efficiency, many other countries seem to put a little more importance on meals. Every culture has developed their own values regarding food over a very long period of time.

  34. Andrew Bailey

    Ana, thank you for sharing the foods that you have had on your travels, I have to say your photos are making me hungry. I agree with what you said about food being part of the culture, and almost having its own culture within itself. Food can be an expression as an art form, it can be shared with a friend, partner, or colleague. It can also be enjoyable, and it can be eaten at any time of the day by most people who are fortunate enough to have access to it. We also, as you said, typically have bigger portion sizes in the United States, and I would venture to say that we throw away more food than almost any other country. I have been guilty of this before, but I have been focusing on taking smaller portions, and only taking food that I know I will eat. I also wanted to comment on the first photo that you have of the macaroons. I have had some before in my french class during high school and they are a delicious desert!!

  35. Siji Gonzalez

    This is really interesting and i think people should start thinking of food and where it originated. Although it may be impossible to know where it came from because as humans we change things and make them how we like it. But there is still a background. I think it is great to experience more foods and to learn about them more. We should not just eat the food from our region or where we are from. We should, we should be experiencing new food and appreciate them more.

  36. amanda greene

    I agreed with the article about how food is cultural. I don’t think you even have to travel out of the US to see that food differs from place to place. Heading more south in the US, I saw people eat waffles with fried chicken on top. To me, this was way different than anything I’d eat in Minnesota. I like how Ana brought up the point of how fast food can change our food culture as well. American food will be made with different ingredients and prepared differently simply because it needs to be “fast” food. Although I have only traveled outside of the states a few times, I have seen the prominent difference in food. I can’t wait to travel again and observe more similarities and differences.

  37. I like your quote that “food has always been key to transporting and evolving our senses in time”. Eating certain foods or dishes can take you back or remind you of particular events, people, or places. I can relate to what you said about the importance of breakfast in the U.S. and in European countries; the British breakfast you are referring to is called a “traditional full English Breakfast” or a “fry-up”. I would regard it as a national institution. It usually consists of fried eggs, sausages, back bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried bread and often a slice of white or black pudding. I’m not a fan of white or black pudding! I can also relate to what you said about pizza in the U.S. and in European countries. I have seen more and more pizza places in the U.K. advertise an “American” or “Chicago-style” pizza, with thick-even stuffed-crusts like you mentioned. It is interesting how different food cultures pop up in other cultures!

  38. Very interesting observations and comparisons between foods through different cultures and areas of the world! Did you draw any conclusions on how people socialize differently during meals across cultures? Did the lengths of meal times change too? I am also curious about Latin American hot chocolate! What would you describe it to be like? In what ways is it different, or better than U.S. hot chocolate? It is also interesting that you observed differences in the sizes of meal times. Would you say the times of day meals are consumed is very different across cultures as well?

  39. Thank you for sharing Ana, very insightful article. I enjoyed reading your observations about the different ways food can reveal the culture of a certain geographical area. I have also noticed most of the things you mentioned concerning American and European food. All the Colombian food you described sounds absolutely amazing; I have had the chance to try some Colombian food and I absolutely loved it. I agree with you about venturing out and trying food from around the world. It really is amazing how many different dishes there are; each one telling us something about the area it is from.

  40. Sheila Iteghete

    I totally agree with you that food is a culture on its own that is transposed to different cultures because it can seem like that of other people’s even if there are no underlining similarities. I also know that food also creates memories that adds to how you get fond of a dish or dislike a dish based on how it makes you feel now of your encounter. When you described the changes in the dished based on their region and geographical location, it connected me to where I was raised; Lagos, Nigeria. This region is the central state for every tribe and culture so there were different dishes floating around to help amplify my taste buds even though I am considered a picky eater. I’d also add that the timing at which these meals were engulfed would be different because coming from Nigeria to the United states, the breakfast was about the same time, but lunch and dinner were now a lot earlier.

  41. Megan Gonrowski

    I love the way this post was broken up and the comparisons that you made between Colombia, the U.S. and your time in Europe. One thing that stuck out to me was the difference in the size of each meal and when the heaviest meal was eaten in each region. You mentioned that dinner is lighter in both Europe and Colombia/Latin America and that lunch or breakfast was a larger meal. I have no nutritionist training, but I feel that because the U.S. eats their largest meal right before bed this could have a large effect on U.S. obesity. Also, I have heard that most other countries take time to sit down and prepare each meal, rather than grabbing something to go at a fast food place. The pace at which the U.S. moves is at a far quicker pace than many parts of the world. This could also lead to unhealthy eating habits. Furthermore, the average U.S. adult has a very long work day and this is most likely why most U.S. people have their biggest and more significant meal at night because they are relaxing from a long day at work.

  42. Katie Peterson

    All of your pictures and descriptions of food are making me hungry! Even though I consider myself to be a pretty picky eater, I still like trying new things. I want to travel outside of the U.S. in the future, and being able to experience the differences in meals between the U.S. and other countries is something I am excited for! Certainly food is a large part of culture, and it is interesting to consider the differences in meal sizes as well. Hot chocolate is a favorite treat of mine in the winter, so now I am extrememly curious about Latin American hot chocolate. Thank you for sharing!

  43. Marissa Mikrot

    Food is definitely a huge part of culture, which is exemplified by the association we have with simple meals (i.e. pizza and Italy, Tacos and Mexico, burgers and the USA). I’ve noticed a difference in meals when I travel as well, and love documenting the differences. The biggest difference I’ve seen is the quality of the food. I’ve always considered the produce I buy in the US quite fresh, but it’s nothing compared to the markets I’ve gone to in Paris, Florence, and Helsinki where they bring produce fresh from their backyard gardens everyday. It has really motivated me to start growing my own foods.

  44. Kendra Trudeau

    I think that food is a huge part of culture because, well first of all it’s something that everyone can enjoy. For most cultures, meals are very important because it’s a time of gathering and conversation. When I was younger and growing up, having a daily family dinner was a huge aspect of my life. As I got older, I now don’t have as much time as i’d like to cook meals and enjoy them with people I love. It’s interesting and crazy how people of different cultures across the world have different connections with mealtimes.

  45. Nicholas Burski

    I almost grew up on only pizza, bread, and mac and cheese until I made my way to college. My only experience of food in other cultures was when I would visit my family who at other relatively simple food. However, since college I have began travelling much more than I ever have. During these excursions, I have made it my rule that I can only eat at local resturaunts becauase I want to try to expand my horizons. I love food because it is a medium that transends language and is a nice common ground for everyone. I think trying other food is a way to get people’s foot in the door for them to learn more about different cultures. Thank you for sharing the great story!

  46. Tessa Lowry

    Thank you for sharing this article with us. I come from Canada and although our food is not too much different I have noticed that here in the US the portion sizes are way bigger. This may not seem like a huge deal but for me I would find myself trying to finish these huge portions so I didn’t waste my food, I soon learned this was not a good idea. I have not really ate anything too different but I would love to try I just don’t have much time to travel with hockey. I think food is important for culture because it brings people together in a unique way and recipes come with interesting stories. I think it is great you shared your story with us.

  47. Aleah Rubio

    I love this article so much! Your article explains so clearly how food really does have a culture of its own. My favorite thing about traveling is trying new food and traditional dishes. I would rather spend my money buying food then souvenirs. I half Mexican so I’ve had the blessing of growing up eating traditional Mexican food my whole life. The food is such a big part of Mexican culture and this is shown throughout a lot of different cultures as well. Thank you for the article!

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