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November 19, 2009

The Ultimate Universal Language - Food

Every nation and culture is rightly proud of its food. The style, taste, seasoning, and of course...

...presentation of food, is not only specific to its nation, but certainly its region and season. There is nothing quite like fresh, local food that sums up a moment - or a place.

It might take some daring. For example there was one city in the south of China that I visited which had as its specialty "stinky tofu". This local delicacy was noticeable, by smell, several blocks away. It absolutely smelled like raw sewage.

In many parts of China, at least when I was there, that particular smell was not that unusual, but in a crowded, urban street market setting it was particularly unwelcome.

I, as a lover of variations on the theme of tofu, had to try it.

As one of perhaps five "foreigners" in the entire city, I took it as my duty to both try the "stinky tofu" and to be the momentary spectacle for the amusement of the locals. Beyond the smell, the taste was wonderful. As always, when traveling abroad and taking in new experiences, you never know what the next experience will bring you.

I urge you to taste and try everything that might offer itself on your local menu. You just might make a remarkable discovery - or at least come away with a great story.

I urge you to stay away from the international franchises and explore the local dishes. You will find them far more memorable - and usually far cheaper than the "foreigner" food you will see in hotels and areas that cater to foreigners. Eat with the locals - and eat as the local do. They'll enjoy it as much as you do.

Next time, on a related topic, I want to explore food related movies. If you have a favorite film with a focus on food, let me know.

I'd like to hear what kind of food movie leaves a lasting impression. This might be a recent film like "Julie & Julia" or a documentary like "Food, Inc" or "Super-size Me".

It is good to remember that we are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together.

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.

Morf

About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at November 19, 2009 02:02 PM

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