US of A: Growing by the kilo
I live, breathe and dream of food and any of my friends, or anyone that has simply eaten with me for that matter can vouch for this. America has not disappointed my taste buds. From vegan chicken tacos (crazy I know) to s’mores (think roasted marshmellow and a Hershey chocolate square stuffed between two sweet salada’s), I have gained a kilogram for every week I have been here and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
My first food shock occurred during a Target run for linen. They have groceries in their Target! Can you even comprehend? And if buying cheap sheets, kitchen utensils and groceries doesn’t excite you enough, you can also buy a slice (or two) of pizza from the Pizza Hut inside Target….
The dining hall here at Sacramento State is an open cafeteria with roughly four different choices of main meals (e.g. Italian, roast meat and vege, grill, thai) which changes every night, a DIY salad bar and pre-made salads. For dessert, there are always two different types (e.g. cake and cheesecake), a fruit bar, self serve soft-serve with 9 different topping choices plus an icecream freezer full of individual icecreams. The drinks menu is also extensive -soft drinks, milk, chocolate milk, soy milk, chocolate soy milk, Gatorade, water, flavoured water, green tea, orange tea, peppermint tea, English breakfast and Starbucks coffee to name just a few. Naturally, with so much choice it is near impossible to enter the dining commons and leave having eaten only one serve. Most nights end up as a five course meal.
Along with the typical burgers, burritos and endless pizza I’ve indulged in a common American pastime -deep frying. Down in Old Sacramento, a district of Sacramento that has been created to replicate the mid to late 1800’s, I ordered deep fried zucchini (one of my favourite vegies) and mushies with a side of ranch dipping sauce.
To wash it all down I then tried a thick caramel covered green apple. This was the simplest of the caramel covered apples. From here they were then covered in all sorts of sweets including nuts, chocolate, cheesecake chunks, cookies. It was delicious!
Every Saturday morning in Midtown there are farmers markets which cater for the organic loving, vegan friendly, health fanatics. Each stall has beautiful displays of their weird and wacky produce, including brussel sprout stems, pluots, and cayenne pepper cold pressed juices.
On a recent trip to San Francisco I came across a sushi restaurant called Sushi Boat and to my great delight on entering I realised it was the equivalent of sushi train but on little boats! Needless to say the thrill of choosing sushi off little wooden boats and the quality of the sushi resulted in myself becoming a ‘regular’ for the three days I was there.
The food here is great. Most of it is either over 50 per cent sugar, deep fried or just plain ridiculous but I love it. I still have a few icons to go yet –the twinkie bar, jerky and the classic PB&J. Hopefully I come across these and many more weird and wonderful American dishes before I have to roll of the plane and sign up to Jenny Craig in five months’ time.
Emily Hall -11032632
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