Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Crossing Cultures

I have another confession to make: I would probably pick Thai food over the food of my motherland. While my 'last meal' would probably be my mom's curry and eggrolls, on the whole, I am still a finicky Vietnamese food eater.

Conversely, Alex has grown to love Vietnamese food. So much so, he even made pho, the national Vietnamese dish, from scratch. (See picture) For those of you are less familiar, pho is most rice-noodle soup usually in a beef broth with lots of thinly cut meat. The broth is the most essential part since you have to cook beef, oxtails, and lots of spices together for hours. It is labor intensive and not many people cook Pho at home, but Alex had to do it.

Another part of him being more Vietnamese than I am is that he begs me to go to the Eden Center, the mini Little Saigon out in Virginia, with him on weekends. We went last weekend and he was in heaven getting his big bowl of pho and a durian shake for dessert. I still remember running upstairs whenever my dad ate durian because it smelled so bad; now is no different, I kept my distance.

Even though Vietnamese food is not my favorite, I have found that dating someone who embraces the culture so much does encourage me to eat more of it. I also like explaining what the different foods are, the snacks we ate as kids (Yum Yums, lychee jelly!), the traditions, etc. Funny how dating someone white may actually make me less 'white-washed.'

Of course I am also a fan of Alex's heritage. I have always self-identified with the German way of life (efficiency, industriousness) and am a huge fan of the Swedes. IKEA, Swedish meatballs, ABBA! What else do you need?

No comments: