While Fargo-Moorhead has a varied range of restaurants representing different cultures, they offer only a small portion of the foods enjoyed around the world.
For the more adventurous students out there, ethnic grocery stores like the Asian and American Market on Main Avenue in Fargo can be a goldmine of exciting new foods to try. They give a glimpse into the normal lives of those from many cultural backgrounds. Plus they tend to be fairly inexpensive and surprisingly good for students on a budget — like all of us.
Our staff tried a smorgasbord of foods representing different cultures in Asia, from mochi to seaweed to canned eel. The responses were varied and most of the reactions were pretty entertaining.
But more importantly, it was an interesting cultural learning experience. During the tasting, several people said things like “You mean it’s normal for some people to eat things like this?” While these snacks may seem weird to most Midwesterners, in other parts of the world they are a treat. To keep it in perspective, things we eat every day may seem strange and disgusting to other people, too.
Keeping an open mind is the best way to explore new foods. Even I had to admit the canned eel was much better than I thought it would be.
Red Bean Mochi
“Tastes like unbaked pie crust. Chewy.” – Pauline Dunn, Office Manager
Dried Fried Anchovies with Herbs
“Tastes like spicy dog food made from fish. Probably an acquired taste I don’t have. It hurts my mouth and my dignity.” – Jack Hastings, A&E Editor
“It’s like a fishy Dorito.” – Kelsey Dirks, Features Editor
“Tastes like a sushi roll. It’s not bad.” – Mikaila Moyer, Advertising Manager
Green Tea Kit-Kat
“[These] Kit-Kats are kinda weird, but I like them!” – Erica Nitschke, Editor-in-Chief
“Nice and sweet. Really weird texture, though.” Cristina Martinez, Design Editor
Canned Eel in Bean Sauce
“Eel tasted like chicken, 7/10 would eat again.” – Erik Jonasson II, Opinion Editor
“Damn good eel.” Jack Dura, Head News Editor
Grass Jelly Drink
“Tastes like liquid jelly. But not grape jelly or strawberry, more like a ‘nature jelly.’ Nice and dirty.” – Kelsey Dirks, Features Editor
“Very sweet and terrible texture with the jelly.” – Pace Maier, Sports Editor