Updated: Aug 11
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When studying abroad in Denmark, the place where I was staying had a communal kitchen. I decided to have everyone on my floor gather for dinner. I cooked (Mac and Cheese, green beans and chicken wings) what I thought was American food, and play games. This was a great way for people to ask about my background and have some fun learning about American customs, and to get to know each other better. As well, I made Hamantashen for the Jewish Holiday of Purim around March. My poor Spanish students were in for a treat as well, before Covid-19 hit!
As a two time Expat (and counting!) I found that food is a great gateway to meet and maintain new friends. A cool part about being an American in a foreign country is that you come from a different culture than everyone else. In the position as the token American, you have the opportunity to share about yourself and how you grew up with other people. As well, sharing food is a gesture that shows you care, and that your are willing to put in an effort to get to know people.
So now I am writing a little guide with ideas if you are also tasked with making an "american" meal or snack. Here are some ideas for traditional American foods that you can make to share with friends, or maybe make if you are feeling homesick for the United States.
WARNING: Are these healthy? Not at all. But these are some foods you usually only find in America, and maybe will encourage your international friends to try something they have never tried. A lot of my international friends had never encountered these foods before.
Mac and Cheese
Chicken and Waffles
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Corn on the Cob
Chocolate Chip Cookies