Having never been out of the United States, I wasn’t sure how the food would taste. Some people will come back from their travels and will say that the food abroad is amazing. Others, not so much. When arriving in Scotland, I had no idea what to expect. I knew that there would be differences in how some foods tasted and what they were called and how they were prepared. However, I didn’t know to what extreme they would be.
In Scotland, a burger is not a burger. At least in an American’s mind. They were flat and had a strange look and taste. The condiments offered were things that an American would probably not consider putting on their burger or fries, or chips as the Scots call them. Ketchup, which was more tangy in taste, seemed almost like an after thought. A favorite was mayonnaise and brown sauce, which I’m still not entirely sure what that is.
Even making your own food was an experience. The grocery store was strange. Items that would typically be seen in a cooler in the States were put on shelves, like eggs that were kept with the bread. Fresh bread also laid in open baskets on shelves for people to just grab. Select items that are available in the States are no where to be found. You find yourself having to look for substitutes to replace a favorite food item. The items that you do find, you buy because you are hoping for it to be familiar in taste. Often, your tongue is deceived. The difference wasn’t always bad. Vanilla yogurt in Scotland, I found to be tastier than that of the same brand in the United States.
All in all, the food was an experience. A bit of culture shock. Once I got use to it, it didn’t seem so bad. Maybe it was because I came to expect it to be different and I accepted it. Maybe some of the tastes just grew on me. Either way, nothing tastes better than home, but it won’t kill you to at least try something new.