“What is the strangest food you’ve eaten while abroad?”

Allie Diehl (Spain): After being in Spain for about a week, I realized that I had yet to try any authentic Spanish dishes. That night, my friends and I went out for tapas, which is just what Spainards call small shareable dishes.

We found a cute little restaurant with the strangest assortment of ingredients in each unique dish. For me, the oddest tapa was the “pastel con zanahoria, calabacín, y ali oli de ajo confitado.” It tasted like a chilled vegetarian lasagna with a pudding-like texture, but we all enjoyed it immensely.

Maria Lorditch (France): I have not eaten anything I would call “strange” here because everything is a million times better than the food in America. Everything is so incredibly fresh: the bread, the meats, the vegetables and even the beer.

Francesca Basil (Australia): Cuisine in Australia is similar to many American favorites. Barbeques are very common and there are plenty of burger joints. Still, I’ve found that dishes and flavors in Australia are a lot more authentic to the culture from which they came from. At some point during the semester I will try a kangaroo burger or steak, or maybe even crocodile meat.

To my dismay, I found that Australians don’t really say “shrimp on the barbie,” but rather “prawns on the barbie.” It’s just not the same when I hear it anymore.

Hannah Patterson (Bolivia): The food here is pretty similar to what is served in the United States. Breakfast typically consists of a type of bread with butter and marmalade or dulce de leche (a caramel sauce) with a cup of tea or coffee.

Lunch is the most important meal and generally involves Bolivians leaving school or work to come home and eat together. Lunch is also typically the largest meal and can consists of multiple courses, like bread and llajwua (a spicy salsa pronounced “yak-wa”) soup, a main course and a dessert. Main courses are generally comprised of meat, salad (which is not always with lettuce), rice, and potatoes. Dessert can vary from fruit to ice cream to a cake or sweet bread. Fortunately for me (and my waistline), my family doesn’t typically have dessert.

The most exotic foods I’ve had here are probably the fruits. In Bolivia, there are fruits that grow on cacti called “tumbo,” papayas, passion fruit, and others. While some of these fruits can be found in the U.S., I hadn’t tried the actual fruit — not just the flavor — until I arrived here. Many of these fruits have seeds that you swallow, which I am not used to, and have almost a perfume-like taste. While I do love fruit, the exotic ones take some getting used to.

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