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Opinions on FOOD

SurrealisticSlumbers

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How would you rate your country's food? What is the attitude towards eating in your country (three hearty, square meals a day? or snacking on granola bars and "mini meals" throughout the day?) and would you say that you were adequately nourished growing up in your country or in your family? And, was that due to your socioeconomic status, or some type of neurosis on the part of your caregivers?

For those who have immigrated to another country, what differences did you notice concerning diet/foods consumed, quality and availability of certain foods, and attitudes towards eating and making meals? For those who maybe didn't move to another country but grew up eating a certain way and then came to live on their own, are you eating differently now?

I want a variety of opinions! Also, PLEASE FEEL FREE to post pictures of food. :)
 

SurrealisticSlumbers

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Ok then - I'll go first. My parents are sort of health nuts - my mom more so. She subsists on two smoothies and only one proper, non-pureed meal a day. She's tried to get me to drink these smoothies before, which usually consist of orange juice, frozen fruit from the Dollar Tree (not kidding), spinach leaves, chia seeds, and some unknown tofu substance. It tastes just about like you'd expect, and the texture is weird as the seeds just sort of slide down your throat, and it's just...like baby food. Or food for the elderly who can't chew. She's always had a small appetite. Now, I'm not judging people who have naturally small appetites, and she looks great - of course, she has a very tall and slim build anyway.

However, growing up, I just remember not having much in the way of food around the house. It's not like my family didn't buy groceries, but my mother was one of those moms who was ultra-picky about just exactly what and how many foods were allowed into the house. Know what I mean? Meals were small, vegetarian/vegan and low-fat. We were allowed to have a couple pieces of chocolate or candy in between lunch and dinner - our "afternoon snack" - but other than that, "junk food" wasn't permitted. I was a terribly thin child, very waif-like, with visible ribs. I routinely ate grass in our yard and even some leaves out of pure hunger. I'm not at all trying to accuse anybody of any sort of mistreatment here, but I feel that my sister and I received comments of a critical tone whenever we had robust appetites, which is not unusual for a growing child. This was especially evident at church gatherings and parties/get-togethers outside our home where there was food prepared/brought by others.

I always looked forward to visiting both sets of grandparents, both of whom lived nearby and would feed me and my sister all sorts of things. I went over to my one grandmother's house just about every Wednesday, where there would be spaghetti, fish sticks, sausage and garlic bread for dinner. My other grandmother was from France and would also make spaghetti for family get-togethers, as well as the obligatory cheese and bread that's on every French table. We'd often have spinach & cheese quiche, made by my aunt. Sometimes, but not too often, my dad will make crepes, but it's usually only on somebody's birthday. He also occasionally makes this amazing dish called quenelles, which are fish dumplings in a creamy sauce, meant to be served on a puff pastry. On New Year's Day, we had cheese fondue. And like most French people, he loves wine and drinks one or two glasses with dinner. When we were kids, though, we rarely saw him drink - he probably wanted to set a good example.

I just feel like in the U.S. you are body-shamed from a young age and taught that having any sort of appetite makes you a slob. I understand that obesity is a problem in this country but you need to look at the whole picture. Like, my sister and I weren't permitted to own video games and only got high-speed internet when I was about 12, so we led pretty physically active lifestyles, splashing in the creek and catching frogs. And we had a lot of time to do that because we were homeschooled. If a kid is leading an active lifestyle, running around or playing some sport, it's probably okay to let them eat, maybe indulge a little, have that second serving. I worry about the kids I've seen who are given that Lunchables crap (it's a glorified piece of cheese, piece of meat and crackers) and nothing else until dinner.

I've been looking up "traditional" Eastern European recipes, and have come to notice that it's a lot of stuff most Americans would proclaim as "high in fat" or "a heart attack waiting to happen":

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I mean, do most Russians, Ukrainians, etc. eat these dishes regularly? If so, I'm pretty jealous, and also wondering what the obesity rates are in that part of the world?
 

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I grew up with a mix of different foods. My father is Lebanese from Lebanon and my mother is mostly Nicaraguan American. My mother was a housewife and the main cook in the family, but my father is also a cook himself and usually would make us meals on the weekends. We'd always eat breakfast and dinner at the kitchen table like a traditional old-style American family, but lunch was usually either at school, from takeout, or a small homemade meal of some sort.

My mom, although partially grew up in Nicaragua, didn't always cook dishes that were a part of her native cuisine. A lot of the food she made were of other ethnic origins with a few native Nicaraguan dishes here and there like arroz a la valenciana (mainly rice and chicken with a tomato paste sauce and peas) carne desmenuzada (shredded beef with rice), and of course arroz con frijoles like every other Latino family.

The Nicaraguan dishes look something like this:

Arroz a la Valenciana
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Carne Desmenuzada
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Growing up, her own mother wasn't a good cook, so she had no one to learn from and just ate out all the time when she was in her twenties. When she eventually had kids, she had to learn on her own how to cook. My mom also used to treat us out to fast foods joints every so often and I really regret it now because I know how horrible the food really is. So essentialy I ate typical American food once in a while, but it was usually of the "junk food" variety.

My father on the otherhand always made something Lebanese and is a great cook in his own right. He can make almost anything from shawarmas (beef sandwich with tahini sauce and other veggies), falafel (deep fried ball of chickpeas and fava beans), kibbeh (meatballs made with bulgur, minced onions, and beef with spices), tabouli (lemony parsley salad with tomatos, bulgur, mint. and onion), labneh (a very thick and tangy strained yogurt), manakish zaatar (zataar spiced pita bread), etc. Everything he makes is usually very healthy and delicious and follows the Mediterranean style diet of eating.

Some of the Lebanese dishes he made are these:

Lebanese Falafel Sandwich
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Tabouli (My favorite!)
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Kibbeh
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Overall, I feel like I was adequately nourished, as I was always at a slender, healthy weight and had healthy blood test results from the doctor growing up. Although, I'm pretty sure being brought up in a middle class family and having a housewife mother could be contributing factors as well. Also, body shaming wasn't something I experienced in my family, but I was already skinny. Everyone just told me to eat more. :tongue:

I am now a vegan, but a well-rounded one that doesn't involve eating only low-fat all the time (I read your post and I can't believe you had to go outside and eat grass and leaves from being malnourished, that sounds awful! :( My sympathies!) Additionally, I can still eat so many Lebanese dishes, as many are accidently vegan or easily veganized, so if my dad ever wants to make me something it's usually no problem. My mom still cooks with a lot of meat and dairy, so I usually don't eat what she makes or bother asking if she can alter things around as I don't like imposing my lifestyle on anyone by force. I now make my own food and eating out is a once in a blue moon kind of thing. My parents see me as restricting myself and being too much of a health nut to their taste, but I really don't mind it. I actually feel both physically and spiritually better eating this way.

And now I'm salivating for some food. :drool:
 

prplchknz

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my attitude is pretty much if it tastes good eat it, but i also have tons of self control and don't tend to over eat if anything i'm more liable to undereat. my mom's of russian heritage and we eat some of the traditional foods now and again, she made halukis recently for a baptism (stuffed cabbage rolls). I eat a pretty variable diet but that might because i like most foods and have a high metabolism. the only thing i have to be careful with is eating too much dairy (but not cheese as most cheese is actually low in lactose as the longer it ages the lactose is replaced with lactic acid, also yogurt has little lactose in it as well, look it up) in a week because it completely wrecks my stomach and gives me rotten egg farts and sloppy poos, i can handle some but if i consume it every day particularly milk and ice cream its not nice. luckily i'm not bad enough that i have to swear it completely off. but i'm dad's of southeastern us heritage (well techincally scottish but they've been here since the revolutionary war) so i also ate a lot of southern foods as well growing up. i dunno i have pretty lax attitude towards food most of the time, though not always the best at actually eating, like this morning i couldn't figure out what i wanted to eat so i just had 2 glasses of wine.
 

ceecee

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I have a family from western Europe/Canada on one side, Balkans/Anatolia on the other. So there was a wide variety of dishes. To me, American food is the fantastic mix of every race, nationality, cultural and ethnic presence and contribution made by those people, including my own people.

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My grandmother made Lukanka ^^ but I haven't had homemade in years.

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Maou

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I grew up on a mix of prison food, processed food, and spanish, irish, mexican combo. Probably why I grew to hate spicy and seasoned food. My Step dad used to make all sorts of types of burritos, tamales, tacos etc. My mom made scott-irish food once in a while. Nothing on my Grandma though. My mom also normalized some culinary abominations from prison recipies such as ramen, taco cheese sauce, and doritos all mixed together. Since we were poor, we also ate ramen noodles with drop biscuit dumplings. Surprisingly good. We at every kind of meat imaginable too.

As more my country, as long as you don't eat processed garbage, the fresh produce and meats is diverse. You can cook pretty much anything here to basic tier. But to get certain "real" things, you have to search hard. I personally make a lot of Asian foods. It matches my sense of taste a lot more.
 

Saturnal Snowqueen

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The U.S is pretty broad, but for foods outside my state I like Southern foods because of all the different spices(Cola cake is really good too). I've never been to the South, but I have family from Texas and Tennessee who I've tried Southern food from. I live in Maine, and lobster is one of my favorite foods as well as any kind of seafood. We don't eat it all the time, it's more a summer food for us. Whoopie pies are also really good-it's basically like an Oreo in cake form. Needhams are another dessert I really like-I don't think you can find them outside of Maine(it's basically a Mounds but with potatoes instead of coconut). There's also Italians(which are picture down below). We didn't eat the healthiest growing up-I remember lots of canned vegetables, ramen and Banquet chicken. We did bake sometimes and we'd go all with Thanksgiving and Christmas treats, but yeah. We were a little on the poor side, but not poverty-stricken. Though, I moved in with my stepmother as a teen and she's a really good cook and cooks pretty healthy too. She's made us homemade breads, chowders, fancy pastas, homemade teas-lots of good stuff. She has some restaurant experience and she grew up vegan, so she knows a lot about eating healthy(she even wants to be an herbalist).

ORIwa7b.jpg
 

Maou

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Can I dump muh instagram photos? :thinking: I think I will.

FxCPCs9.jpg

Mapo tofu, my style.

NQ3QU5E.jpg

Curry Udon

28golFs.jpg

Niku Udon.

I usually have to substitute some things, so if I say its in my style. I probably substituted something.
 

SurrealisticSlumbers

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Can I dump muh instagram photos? :thinking: I think I will.

FxCPCs9.jpg

Mapo tofu, my style.

NQ3QU5E.jpg

Curry Udon

28golFs.jpg

Niku Udon.

I usually have to substitute some things, so if I say its in my style. I probably substituted something.

Looks really good!
 

SurrealisticSlumbers

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I have a family from western Europe/Canada on one side, Balkans/Anatolia on the other. So there was a wide variety of dishes. To me, American food is the fantastic mix of every race, nationality, cultural and ethnic presence and contribution made by those people, including my own people.

Looks so yummy... especially the last dish (looks like a potato-based dish?) - I don't often get to eat Greek, Turkish or Middle Eastern cuisine but when the opportunity comes up it's a real treat. Definitely some of the tastiest ingredients come from that part of the world! Can't remember the last time I had stuffed grape leaves. Soo good!
 

ceecee

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Looks so yummy... especially the last dish (looks like a potato-based dish?) - I don't often get to eat Greek, Turkish or Middle Eastern cuisine but when the opportunity comes up it's a real treat. Definitely some of the tastiest ingredients come from that part of the world! Can't remember the last time I had stuffed grape leaves. Soo good!

It's Colcannon - potato, cabbage, butter, chicken stock.
 

Tomb1

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Italy has the best food imo...just ate a plate of rigatoni and ground beef doused in marinara sauce (imported tomatoes > tomato puree) with loads of red pepper and glass of Scotch (Mortlach distillery)

America has good outdoor barbeque-style food...baby back ribs are notable
 

ceecee

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Italy has the best food imo...just ate a plate of rigatoni and ground beef doused in marinara sauce (imported tomatoes > tomato puree) with loads of red pepper and glass of Scotch (Mortlach distillery)

America has good outdoor barbeque-style food...baby back ribs are notable

Texas style beef - brisket, beef ribs, beef sausages - is my favorite bbq. Where pork ribs are concerned, I've been leaning more and more to a Chinese style of cooking as well as sauce. Sous vide makes all of this meat phenomenal - I can't recommend that method enough.
 
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