During my time studying abroad, I got to travel to different countries. I went to Paris, Dublin, Vienna, and Greece, as well as other places in Italy. I have always enjoyed cooking and baking so going to places with different foods, I took the advantage of scheduling cooking classes. I took these classes to learn about another culture as well as spread my knowledge with my friends and family back home.
In Greece, I enjoyed the gyro which is now a new favorite food of mine. I watched as experts made all the components of their traditional dishes and a local who is known for making olive oil, let us watch the process. Even though I didn’t cook anything there, watching the tactics they use to create perfection was very interesting to me.
In Vienna, I made chocolate! I was informed on the details of making chocolate and I got to make my own chocolate bars with whatever toppings I wanted. We also got to make delicious hot chocolate and we were given the options to add cinnamon or spice to it. I never considered adding spice to my hot chocolate but after I did, the flavors of the hot chocolate enhanced.
In Dublin, my friend and I went to a local’s home to make scones and a granny apple cake. We got our hands dirty and made pastries to perfection. I couldn’t stop eating the food! As we were making food, we talked to the host about the differences in culture. From the way we speak to the school system, it was a very eye-opening experience. We met her family and overall had an amazing time. She gave us apples from her garden, and we got to take the leftover food home.
In Paris, I HAD to make macaroons. I have always wanted to learn how to make this amazing dessert and I was so grateful to do so. It was a private class that we took with a couple from Germany. They drove all the way to Paris from their home and I was shocked because I can barely handle a car ride from St. Louis to Chicago. The host gave us tips and tricks on how to make it at home. We had great conversations and made delicious macaroons. We took pictures together with our final dish and we took the leftovers home.
In Italy, living in Italy for 4 months, there was no way I was not going to learn how to make pasta. I went to NonnaFlora Sorrento Kitchen to learn this dish. The woman who owned the cooking school was so nice and I learned that she used to work at Pizza e Cucina which is where I was interning for the semester. She showed us how to make the traditional pasta and how to make a green pasta. We had drinks, appetizers, and a great time with music and conversation. We made cannelloni, lemon ravioli, and fettucine. The process was very interesting and hands-on. The food was so delicious, and I have already started teaching my friends and family how to make authentic pasta.
I am so grateful for the opportunities SAI gave me. Cooking different cuisines is an amazing way to learn about a different culture and teaching friends and family is a great way to bring people together. If you have the chance to study abroad and travel to different countries, I highly recommend taking cooking classes. You will learn amazing tricks and it will be an experience you will never forget.
Kathryn was a Fall 2022 student at Sant’Anna Institute from Missouri State University.