This post is also available in: Italian
Eating abroad, can’t be relegated as a secondary theme before a departure. Never.
It was 2012. I was going to Paris for a 4 months internship. The only idea to spend a small part of my life in one of my favorite idealized cities, just made me crazy. I couldn’t believe it was really happening, I didn’t even think that this was just the first destination on my expat journey.
When you are 25 and you’re preparing yourself for such an adventure, you would normally think to all the beauties you will discover, how many new friends you will find, how to deal with the language and the local people.
But because I’m Italian my main worry was … food!
- How will I survive in a place that is not Italy?
- What will I find at the supermarket?
- What kind of traditions do they have?
- Will they cook Lasagna like my Mamma does?
- What will I eat?
And because it wasn’t enough, also my mother started to bother me with similar questions.
For her, I was always too small and should put on some weight. Even just 5 kilos more.
After the first understandable skepticism, I learnt to love many new cuisines, from all over the world. It took a little time and a few tries but I have for sure learnt other culture’s food can be just as amazing as my mom’s cooking!
- Paris in love:
Every restaurant, boulangerie, café or restaurant I tried in Paris was simply amazing . The French specialties are so good, the supermarket so well organised. It was impossible to miss the home. There’s a chance even the stones taste good in Paris, but I can’t tell you. Never tried.
- Northern Ireland, I’m confused:
The landscape was so perfectly limpid, the people so unbelievably friendly, that it was impossible to feel uncomfortable there. I just couldn’t get why people in Belfast had dinner at 5 in the afternoon, after an insignificant snack for lunch, and a breakfast at 7:00 in the morning. Going to sleep around 11pm it was just impossible for me to not have a second dinner at night. How could you ask to your stomach to stay calm after such tortures? I couldn’t. That’s why I always had a plan B hidden in my wardrobe. It had a stack of cookies, cakes or breadsticks… and gained 10kg in only 5 months. Great job Nadia!
- London, I feel strange:
London is so international that it’s impossible to get bored with food. Here you can find the best pizza ever, the best Chinese, the coolest Indian and so on. Everything you wish, comes true. One of the local specialities, Fish and Chips, was unfortunately not my thing. Anyway I’ve always preferred to cook at home, in peace, listening to good music. Every time I went shopping in London, I’ve noticed that supermarkets there proliferate with sweetness at every corner you look, all sorts of industrial food, and, last but not least, there is a huge amount of pharmaceuticals. This really impressed me: you can buy aspirin and lettuce at the same time.
- Berlin, the big surprise:
Even if I wouldn’t ever have said it, the German cuisine has something special. People generally think of Germany as the sausage paradise, but there is lot more to discover. The traditional Berliner dish? Were you saying Currywurst? Wrong. The typical food here is definitely Kebab.
If you’re a big ( and particular) foodie like myself you will understand the stress of going abroad. But let me assure you: it is often the places you are most worried about that will surprise you with the most delicious food. So travel stress free my fellow foodie live abroders!