Adjusting to New Food in Your New Country

Moving overseas is overwhelming enough as it is – different languages, different environments and different customs can all become a lot to handle right off the bat after an international move. It’s normal for people to gravitate toward the familiar after a move. Moving abroad is no different.

One of the reasons to move abroad is to immerse yourself in a new culture, but where do you start? How do you adapt to a new culture when you’re still clutching on to your old one? An easy way to get to know your new culture is through food. A culture’s cuisine can tell so much about a country even more so then any tourist guide can. Read more about how to adapt to new food when moving abroad so you can begin getting to know your new culture.

Start slowly

When moving abroad, the first few weeks will likely be stressful, as they are with most moves. You have to unpack all your belongings, get to know your surroundings and get to school or work on top of that, so it’s common during the first few weeks after a move abroad you will gravitate toward what you already know.

With so many chain fast food restaurants all around the world it’s easy to get the foods that remind you of home. But eventually you’ll have to branch out of your culinary comfort zone and begin to experience what your new culture has to offer.

You should start off slowly, try a few small things at a time before diving head first into the local cuisine’s delicacies. If you aren’t entirely comfortable with the country’s language yet there still may be a language barrier, so you may not know exactly you’re ordering at all times which can be dangerous if you have food allergies.

When you’re out and about, try to take note of how the local people eat to give yourself an idea of what etiquette is in that particular country. Not all countries have the same traditions and rules when it comes to their food.

Something new everyday

An easy way to get accustomed to the food in your country is to just incorporate it into your daily diet. Each day try something new when you’re out and about. Venture away from the foods you’re familiar with at the market and do your best to try something new.

Instead of sticking with the familiar for your first few weeks wean yourself off your normal diet and replace a meal each day with something from the local cuisine and before you know it, you’ll have made the transition from expat to local.

Don’t panic

If you’ve tried the cuisine of that country before you moved, you may have only had it a handful of times. Once you move there, your entire daily diet will be based around that country’s cuisine.

Your body will need time to acclimate itself to the new cuisine, so don’t panic if you feel some discomfort once you start eating more and more of the local foods. Your body will adjust to the new foods, ingredients and flavors soon enough.

It takes time

It will also take time for you to develop a taste for the new foods. Don’t worry if you aren’t completely thrilled with the cuisine when you first arrive. You will eventually develop a taste for it after time. Just think of things you hated eating as a child, do you still hate them now? Probably not. But don’t worry, it won’t take you another lifetime to appreciate your new home’s food.

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How to Cope with Culture Shock When Moving Internationally