Letters from Dublin

Rachel Scully, Arts & Life Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

One of my favorite aspects of traveling is trying new food. Food can truly represent the culture around you. I will be honest though, I am somewhat picky eater. It’s hard to get myself out there with food. However, going to different countries and exploring the options can be extremely rewarding.

Of course the first thing I did when I came to Ireland was go out to eat with some students I met at the university. We walked to a quaint, little pub about 30 minutes away from campus and ordered food. I ordered some lamb stew with mashed potatoes, which was one of the best meals I have had. After that meal, I decided to have one truly authentic meal in whichever country I went to. As rewarding as it has been, there have been points where I was not terribly happy with my decision.

As I said before, I can be somewhat picky. Nonetheless, I still try a wide range of foods. The problem with this goal is that, occasionally, the food is just completely terrible to me. The food might not be bad, it could even be a delicacy in the country, but sometimes my personal taste in food does not match everyone else’s. This problem erupted when I was in Paris, France and went out to eat with family. I asked my cousin, who lived in Paris for about a year, what she thought was good. She said a popular dish is the steak tartare. Without asking exactly what it was and not being able to read the menu, I ordered it. Big mistake. What I got was not what I thought it would be.

When I heard the word “steak,” I thought I was getting a cooked steak. Nope! I got warm raw minced meat with an egg yoke cracked on top of it. I looked at it, then to my family already digging in. Well, this was what I signed up for. I took a couple of bites and shivered. It was too weird. Even the fact that I paid for it was not enough for me to finish it. When the waitress took my food, she asked, “Did you not like?” and I sheepishly lied, “oh no, I liked it!” She saw right through me and rolled her eyes as she took away my food.

That was just one instance where I did not like the food. That has not happened often. In Italy, AKA food paradise, I always ate the most delicious food whether it was pasta, pizza or anything in between. In Germany, I had some fantastic chicken with roasted potatoes. There were so many different meals from all around Europe that I wouldn’t be able to fit it on this page. So far, the French dish was the only one I didn’t like and that says a lot for a picky eater like me.

I highly recommend exploring the different traditional dishes of each country you visit; it helps you learn the history. It easily connects you to the culture because each dish holds a small part of the history; Don’t even get me started on the desserts.