When ‘our’ food is the foreign food

Our ESL students are trying to adjust to an all-North American diet.

In Texas, the African students would sometimes get really sick from the Texas food (they couldn’t even keep it down). But we’d visited some of their home countries and understood the drastic change in diet; their fat and oil and grease content increased about 5000% when they arrived in Texas. I thought the Koreans and Taiwanese kids wouldn’t have that big of an adjustment to make, but it’s harder for them than I would have guessed. From their journals and from conversations in class, I’ve compiled these lists.

They hate:

  • raw vegetables, especially carrots – “We’re not rabbits!” One of them finally tried a carrot stick for the first time yesterday after about three weeks living with a Canadian family. She didn’t like it.
  • salad (raw leaves… I guess it’s like eating plants?)
  • sandwiches – “Everyday always sandweechee!” I haven’t figured this out yet, but they all hate sandwiches and seem to be appalled that their homestay parents keep putting them in their lunches. It doesn’t seem to matter much what’s between the bread.
  • cold cuts, like salami. One of them was complaining that their homestay mom was feeding them raw meat. It turned out he was referring to cold cuts. I tried to explain that it wasn’t raw, but I’m not sure he was buying it.
  • milk. They’ve got something against dairy products, and they aren’t liking the bowl of cereal every morning routine.
  • pudding. Three of them had chocolate pudding cups in their lunches on Thursday, and after one taste they each threw them out.

They like:

  • steak and potatoes. This got two thumbs up all around.
  • BBQ’d hamburgers – also a big hit (after they pick all the uncooked pickles and onions and tomatoes off).
  • spaghetti with tomato sauce.
  • lasagna.

They also don’t understand why they have to wear seatbelts in the back seat, “even when have no police!” And one of them thought her watch was broken because it was still light outside at 9:30pm. They thought the crane flies were really giant mosquitos, and apparently aren’t used to spiders in the house. Camping (on Tuesday) will be fun!

One thought on “When ‘our’ food is the foreign food”

  1. Keeping up with your days in Surrey and enjoying your daily entries. Wish we could have stayed longer. We are in a 30-35 degree heat wave and trying to keep cool.

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