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Tasting Culture

Tasting Culture

A YES student hosted in Minnesota wrote to us about one of the most appetizing parts of being an exchange student - sharing food!  

My name is Kristina and I’m a YES student from Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am hosted in Bloomington, MN with a very nice host family that is making my American experience more interesting and funny every day. I’m living with another exchange student from Norway which I think is very exciting, too.

Since I arrived here, I’ve been to many different places and festivals. The most interesting were the Renaissance Festival and the Minnesota State Fair. The Minnesota State Fair was interesting because there were a lot of American foods that I’ve never heard about or tried before and with very strange names (all kinds of burgers, Elephant Ears, Elephant Tacos, Beef Tongue Tacos)! In October, the funniest day was Halloween. I carved pumpkins for the first time and it was really fun. In the evening we went trick or treating and got candies. In November, it was a pleasure to be a part of Thanksgiving, a real American holiday. Traditionally, my host family prepared turkey that was very delicious. They also served stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberries. What I liked the most were the many kinds of pie that were served, epecially, pumpkin pie. But, more importantly, I learned that part of the tradition of Thanksgiving is getting together with family. That day, me and my American family spent time together being thankful for everything we have. As an exchange student in USA, I was glad to be a part of that day with my host family.

I have been trying American food, so I also made some traditional food from my country for my host family. A couple of times, I have prepared dinner and served some traditional meals. I’ve prepared Cevapi, a traditional grilled dish of minced beef; Potato salad and mushroom soup; and pancakes and Tufahije, which is also one of the traditional Bosnian sweet dishes made of apples. My host family also tried some other things such as Ajvar (a type of relish), traditional cookies called Lokum from Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and some other candies. I was very happy that they liked it and want me to make traditional food again! I am also looking forward to try more American food and learn how to prepare it so I can share with people when I return to my country!