"You do not know if you do not like if if you do not try it"
One of my favorite stories is the time I ordered a plate of eels in Sevilla, Spain. I was really hungry one afternoon after school and asked my friend Bridgit to get lunch with me at a famous little café around the corner from the CIEE building. We walked over, sat down, ordered the usual bread, croquetas, and ladrón de manzañas but I was still starving. I scanned the menu and had an intense craving for gambas al ajillo, one of my favorite tapas (shrimp in garlic oil). He recommended I try a seafood dish special they had that was "just like gambas al ajillo". I was so excited and my hunger was taking over. When he brought the plate over, it was a plate of eels. I was so shocked and he kept calling them little gusanos which means worm in Spanish.
This truly is a memorable moment in my study abroad experiences, because at this moment I had to recognize the ignorance of my disgust, and realize this is a traditional dish in another country that someone was serving me. This changed my perspective on ordering new foods and not being afraid to try new things because in the culture you were raised in looks down upon it. Bridgit LOVED the eels and reminded me of the infamous saying "you will not know if you do not like it if you do not try it". Next time you go out to eat in another country, ask the locals what they would order, try the thing on the menu that you can not understand, and be open to trying new foods even if you are surprised at first.
By: Amelia Asfaw The Liberal Arts program in Sevilla, Spain offers all Spanish classes taught at both the CIEE center and at the University of Sevilla. And at the University... keep reading