Letters from Dublin

Rachel Scully, Arts & Life Editor

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.