The Daily Aztec

International food caters to academics

Getty Images/Purestock

Getty Images/Purestock

by Cami Buckman, Staff Writer

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Food is a common thing that all people enjoy, but depending where in the world a student on campus may be from, he or she brings a unique perspective on various foods and meals.

While Americans may think they have an accurate understanding of what Italian food may be, some disagree. Italian student and communications sophomore Fedi Vitali, who has been studying at San Diego State for two years, shared his insight on the subject.

“I feel like the carbs are different here and everything is too much,” he said. “Back in Italy, you can enjoy your meal for longer because it is lighter.”

While Olive Garden’s Five Cheese Ziti al Forno has a blend of five different Italian cheeses and marinara sauce, along with various meats and a layer of bread crumbs, his favorite type of pasta only includes the ingredients of butter and sage.

Vitali may think that American food choices are unhealthy, but he did not deny his love for traditional American barbecue and mac n’ cheese.

Public health junior Sara Kidman studied abroad in Florence, Italy for six weeks this past summer.

She observed the same trend of fresh ingredients in Italian meals versus processed ingredients in American meals.

“We became fuller faster because our meals from restaurants and store-bought foods weren’t as loaded with salt and sugar to keep you craving more,” Kidman said.

She said her favorite food in Italy was pesto gnocchi.

Arthur Afanayong, an international economics and finance junior, has similar opinions on American food.

As a native citizen of France, he said people back home don’t usually count calories because French consumers can see where their food ingredients come from on all items.

“I feel like whatever I eat in America is going to be bad for me because I don’t know where it comes from,” Afanayong said.

He believes the quality of food in France is very different than in U.S., including the reason that French fast food is more expensive.

However, he admires the creativity in unhealthy American dishes.

“Americans are geniuses when it comes to wrapping everything in bacon, and I love that,” Afanayong said.

Finance junior James Ranon observed the high quality of food while studying abroad in Germany for one semester.

“While I was eating the food in Germany, I just felt more intelligent and could think more clearly,” Ranon said.

Each of these students traveled to different regions of the world and tasted various flavors of culture, experience, and of course, food. Each student may have a different taste, but all of these individuals help to create a flavorful campus.

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