Tasting It

Learning anything new is challenging and causes a lot of anxiety among many other intricacies. Is it socially acceptable? What are my friends going to think? What will my family think of me? A lot of these same things happen when we are embracing a new culture.

Learning a new culture first starts with observations, we observe only to realize that there are major differences between the way we carry our day-to-day than others carry it, in this instance, let’s say a young Dominican teenager may realize that she does not eat the same food as her American friends. (Yes! That was me!)
At snack time and when it came to dining out together, the choices were very diverse. Something that can begin to cause anxiety for anyone in a new environment. The thought of being different, standing out, making choices that are outside what everyone else considers ‘normal’ can in itself bring about a lot of questions and point out a lot of the differences in culture. What most of us don’t realize at that time is that a lot of people yearn to be different; wishing they had the courage to make a decision because it is what they want, not what is socially acceptable. But that is something thought about much later on.

After the initial phase of observation, comes the change. At least for me it was this way. I do realize we all have different experiences, but from my personal observations, very little times do you find that someone is immediately accepting of being different from the rest. It is true that we all look to fit into our social surroundings, we all, as our human nature, seek acceptance; to fit in.
But that young Dominican woman embracing a new culture learns to embrace change; she learns to enjoy both a slice of pizza and a pastelito! It is real!

For a food lover like myself, this was one of the most difficult changes in embracing American culture, one that I am still working through – everyday! Through my journey in engaging both rice, guandules as well as shepherd’s pie into my regular meal plans, instead of being a struggle turned out to be pure joy and enjoyment. Because like the famous Anna Thomas once said “We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly,” I learned to embrace it.  

Pastelito  imagesimages (1)


  1. Hi Luisa,
    I think you have a great post here. I would make a few minor suggestions that include being careful about grammar and word choice. A few times your sentence structure gets a bit confusing where a comma would really help separate thoughts within a sentence. I really love the design of your blog, everything fits together really nicely. I would aim to break up the larger blocks of text too, basically just in half. They aren’t overpowering, but making them more “bite-sized” would help the flow of your post. I like that you employed a link in your text to help your readers understand about what pastelito is, and I wouldn’t be afraid to use this more and more as I felt like there were a few other spots where a link would be great, like with the quote you used to close your post. All in all, I felt like this was a terrific second effort and I look forward to the third installment. Good luck!


  2. Luisa,
    Using the difference in cuisines between American and Dominican was a brilliant way to articulate your transition to American culture. As a fellow food lover, there is no greater way for people to bond with others than to share food. The great thing about certain parts of America is that there are infusions of other ethnic foods in to our own cuisine. For instance, Chinese food places like Panda Express have several menu choices that are Chinese-American recipes, and they work well.
    I was hoping to learn more about the types of food you are used to, and the type you have come accustomed to liking in America. Other than more examples, and a little more detail about your story of transition, I think you’ve done great. I look forward to reading your next posting!
    -Eric M.


  3. Luisa,

    I really enjoyed you colorful description of attending a dinner with friends in a new country with food and customs you may not have been all that aware of. As a reader and a frequent traveler I easily related your writing and experience and instantly transported to sitting a booth in a restaurant in Guatemala and so confused on what certain food was but didn’t want to be that typical “American” that only ate cheeseburgers and fries.
    I do agree with the previous comment on there being some small grammar errors that at times were a bit confusing. I do like the use of pictures but if you had pictures of you at such a dinner or out with friends would make the blog and post more personal.



  4. Luisa,
    I love to meet people from different countries. It just amazes me how much we can be different and how much we can be alike. I love your background story as well. As far as design I like the colors. It will be a good idea to add pictures. Especially of your home country and maybe of you “exploring new things”. I must add that I am familiar with Dominicans as far as hair is concerned. My hair stylist is Dominican and I love my blow outs girl! lol
    Tamron T Cox

    Liked by 1 person

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