My Biggest Culture Shock As a Mexican Girlie: Food

This article was written as part of Latinitas Magazine Workshop, find out more information here.

As a Mexican girlie, I have to say that one of the biggest culture shocks was the food. I remember walking to the school cafeteria and being confused about the food; it looked so different from what I was used to. By then I had only been in the US for about a week, and I remember being confused. On my plate, there was a scoop of meat, cheese, and potatoes. I later learned that it was called tater tot casserole. At first, I was a bit hesitant to try it, because it looked nothing like what I was used to in general. But the smell of the food wasn’t unpleasant. Once I tried it I found that it was actually good, and you can say that afterward it became one of my favorite foods from the school cafeteria and as I spent more time in school  I was getting used to the food. I would always try the food not knowing what it actually was. One of the memories I always remember is that the first time I tried the school spaghetti I hated it; it had no flavor on the noodles and the sauce had a weird texture. The only good thing about that was the bread stick and apple sauce.

Now I usually pack myself a sandwich and water for lunch. If I go to my friend’s house after school or something and they have food, I will try it. And I wouldn’t say that all American food is bad, it’s just different from what I tend to eat, but if given a chance I will try some new dishes.   

Now that I’m in high school and I’m able to go with friends, I hear them talk about the food they are taking to their family get-togethers and all I can think is how different our culture can be. They are taking some type of casserole (half of the time I haven’t even heard of it). Meanwhile, when my family gets together we usually bring salsas, tortillas, gelatinas. Recently my friends were planning a get-together and we were discussing what food were each going to bring and my friend’s mom mentioned a casserole that I can’t even remember the name of.

I thought of how different our cultures are; One of my favorite things about being from a different background is the fact that I get to share things from my culture. Like the time I told one of my friends that my favorite snack was cucumber with salt, lime, and Tajin- which is a very common treat.

My friend was a bit confused because she had never heard of that so I told her to give it a try. Well a couple of weeks later she sent me a short video of her enjoying a bowl of cucumber as I had recommended, and she loved it. Even though each one of us is different, everyone brings something different from their beautiful cultures. I’m very happy that I get to share mine with them and create more memories of them trying out something from outside of their comfort zone.  


  • Gloria Piñon

    Gloria Piñon is a young girl born in Mexico, and moved to the US. Gloria really enjoys reading books and talking about them w her reader friends, and occasionally she will write a short story. Gloria loves to give her friends nicknames, and is a Taylor Swift fan.

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