I had the opportunity to visit America for the first time in the mid-1990s, and it was a completely different world. The size of everything, from houses to streets, was overwhelming. Even my host family’s home seemed spacious. Food was a big topic in America, with an emphasis on presentation and staging, whether it was in a diner or a posh steakhouse. Food became an experience in itself, and I ended up gaining 25 extra kilos from eating so much.
Food culture in America was different from what I was used to. Everything had to be low cal, low carb or fat-free, even yogurt couldn’t just be yogurt. Food was ordered with extra cheese or special crusts and take-away packaging was everywhere. The service and attentiveness of restaurant staff were something I had never experienced before.
I noticed a similar trend developing in my own country. Eating out, picking up food and having it delivered became the new normal, reflected in people’s spending habits. Restaurants that wanted to thrive in this new environment had to offer more than just a standard menu and provide food, social atmosphere and experience that digital community desired.
The impact of this cultural shift was evident in food and business articles that were popping up online. It seemed that the way we thought about and interacted with food was changing, clear that this shift was not limited to just one country. Whether it is America or my own country, the way we approach and consume food is evolving, fascinating to witness and be part of this change.
In conclusion, my first trip to America opened my eyes to how different the world could be outside of my comfort zone