Food!! (& My Birthday)

Grilling sliced beef in Ban Di Bul, a Korean bbq restaurant in the city center.
Grilling sliced beef in Ban Di Bul, a Korean bbq restaurant in the city center

Eating is hard. College students everywhere know what I mean. Meal prep, waking up for breakfast, consuming some sort of fresh fruit or vegetable, resisting the very strong urge to order take out every night, all of this is hard. It’s even harder to do abroad where 1) you have to be smarter with money 2) Wendy’s is no where to be seen😢 

After about 3 weeks here, I’ve done my best to eat as consistently and as healthily as possible but it still can be difficult. I’ve gone through 3 main phases to get to a more stable food routine: takeout, pre-made & from scratch.

The culinary experience in Liverpool is something I am so grateful to partake in. On just one street, near the city center, dinner options ranged from Moroccan (Kasbah), Korean (Ban Di Bul), Lebanese (Bakchich) and so much more. The scent of Greek food is only diminished with the scent of Thai food wafting from the opposite direction. The cultural diversity here is so immense that, at times, it’s hard to even remember what my Wendy’s order is.

The only downside to trying all the delicious options is that.. you have to pay to try them. Takeout gets expensive.

The next solution was to make my own meals in the dorms.

I looked into pre-made, pop in the oven, quick and easy type meals but as with take out, I ran into complications. As time went on, ramen noodles and alfredo pasta just lost their luster. Pre-cooked food didn’t taste as fresh. It was time to expand my cooking repertoire and leave the carbohydrates behind. I missed vegetables so very much. Almost as much as I missed my mothers cooking.

It was time to start actually cooking.

So far, one of my favorite, actually cooked by me, meals is butter and garlic shrimp with stir fried vegetables over white rice. I learned that my favorite part of cooking was the power I had to add specific flavor. There is way more to life than just salt and pepper. Sautéd onion and garlic is pretty much a scent I would consider wearing as a cologne.

I guess I enjoyed cooking for myself in the dorm so much that I wanted to try Korean bbq for the first time, where you’re meant to grill your own meats. Ban Di Bul was a major highlight of my golden birthday. Each dish has a unique spiced flavor from the marinated beef to the bbq dipping sauces. Everything was so delicious that I wasn’t even nervous to try beef tongue. I was very happy to spend my birthday enjoying a new culture’s food.

Published by Ernesta Cole

Class of 2021 Liverpool Hope University Sociology, English

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