This I Believe

Brayden - Orem, Utah
Entered on May 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I have been eating for sixteen years. Over the space of that time, I’ve traveled all over the world. Through out my travels I have had the opportunity to eat in many different places. Eating food in different places of the world is one of the best ways I get to know different cultures. Food is so unique to it’s own country, which is how I get to know these cultures. Over time, I have eaten home baked salmon in Seattle, fresh lobster in California, Navajo Tacos at a reservation in New Mexico, Dutch oven cooking in Utah, and a 28 oz. filet mignon in New Jersey.

Internationally, I’ve eaten chicken hearts in Brazil, empanadas in Columbia, pear-flavored ice cream in France, spätzle, schnitzel, and sauerkraut in Germany, and of course, chocolate in Switzerland. My point? I believe in tasting culture.

The diversity of food in different places helps me to literally internalize the culture I’m experiencing. Internalization doesn’t get much better than, for example, eating French ice cream under the Eiffel Tower, or cooking Dutch oven on a scout campout. The sense of taste is one of the more commonly used senses by people, but when I taste culture, it involves much more than just taste. It involves visual, as I see the different colors, shapes and textures of the new culture. I smell unfamiliar aromas unique to the culture. Through this multi-sense experience, I absorb the culture.

When I eat a culture, it helps me to see the world as a whole from a higher point of view, because I learn about other people in the world. Each culture I internalize becomes a part of me, to the extent that I can relate to people from all over the world. My paradigm of the world changes with each new taste so much that I’m excited to try the next culture.

And that’s how it happens: I taste and I grow, and then I grow and I taste, and in the end, I internalize culture. I hope one day to have tasted many more cultures than I have as of now, because that view stimulates my growth.

This I believe.