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Regional Misunderstandings

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SIL and her DH were staying with us.  He could live on pizza and wanted 'real New York pizza'.  Mr. Thipu also loves pizza so it seemed like a good match. 

However, there was a problem because they had different ideas about what New York pizza is.  To us, it has a thin crust and no more than three toppings.  Any more toppings  will make the pie too moist and ruin the crispness of the crust.  The pizza we enjoy when we visit them is very close to what we get at home. 

To our guest, a New York pizza was a slice with enough stuff piled on it to compromise the structural integrity of the dish.  It would be delicious but hard to find around here. 

We compromised and called in some really tasty ribs.  A good time was had by all.

Have you ever encountered a situation in which a guest's perception of something in your area was at variance with reality?

I am also from NYC and while visiting a friend in Daytona, FL i went to a beach snack stand to get hot dogs.  It wasn't busy and the guy asked where I was from.  I said NYC and we chatted.  When my hotdogs arrived they had cole slaw on them.  I balked and asked for new ones, that I didn't order them with cole slaw on them.  He insisted this is how REAL NEW YORKERS eat their hot dogs.  I assured him he was incorrect and we debated it for a few minutes until he made me 2 new hot dogs, plain.  I put ketchup and (yuck) yellow mustard on them.  I didn't want to risk asking for sauerkraut or onions, who knew where that might lead to.

Most people who live in the south already know there's regional variation in what we call "barbecue," but there are definitely times that visitors come down from the other side of the Mason-Dixon line and say "I had some really great barbecue once, let's do that again!" and don't take into account they visited Texas (or Tennessee or North Carolina) before and Alabama now.  And then they're shocked that barbecue here is completely different than what they expected.

Yes!  With Cuban cuisine.  People expect it to be spicy and I always have to tell them that Cuban food isn't spicy.  Cue shocked looks and questions like but most spanish foods are spicy.  I always have to correct them that Mexican/South American cuisine is a far cry from Cuban cuisine which is island influenced food from Spain. 

It's similar to what Slartibast says about barbeque.  It's influenced by the area and can be completely different.  I actually prefer the vinegar based bbq.  People are often shocked that such a thing exists.

Not food-related, but how could I forget the exchange students in high school?  We did a program with a French school where some of their students came to visit us, then some of us got to visit them.  Word must have gotten around among some of the French boys that "American girls are easy" and "Americans love French accents" - so some of them came expecting free scrabble favors from every female they ran across.

Sorry, guys - usually American girls love French accents from good-looking French men.  Not scrawny barely-pubescent males, especially those who think they're God's gift to women.  Those particular boys ended up getting a talking-to from their teacher halfway through their month here because they were behaving in ways that made the girls here uncomfortable and were bothering their host families (e.g. propositioning girls left and right and actually expecting the answer to be "yes.")

We were lucky - we had a fantastic girl come stay with us.  She's since come back three or four times, I've visited with her, and my parents are actually going to France next summer to see her and meet her parents and her new baby  ;D


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