Homesickness can get to anyone who’s away from home- either studying abroad, on Erasmus or has completely relocated. I’ve found in my travels that a way for me to bring a bit of home to wherever I’m living is to cook my comfort food. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right ingredients and the taste isn’t the same, but it helps bring a bit of home comfort to my new home.
If you have just arrived to Limerick, and you are looking to make friends and feel at home, I would recommend inviting some other new students over to a pot luck. Each person brings a dish from their home country and you get to make friends while tasting a piece of their home country.
For example, Thanksgiving in the States is a holiday dedicated to family and friends being together and eating all kinds of foods, differing by regions as well. Spending Thanksgiving in Ireland, I was able to spend the holiday with my family of international friends. We cooked together preparing all the traditional dishes but had other countries food’s as well. It was so fun to create new memories and share our experiences at the dinner table.
Being from the southwest of the US I’m used to at least a moderate amount of spice, something that hasn’t been apparent in the Irish cuisine. Even the chilies in the supermarkets don’t hold much spice. So you will need to venture to some of the Asian food stores in Limerick city to really get some spice.
Care packages are also a great way to get ingredients, and whenever I get one from home I’m always excited to cook and let others experience my home through the dishes. While traveling my recipes have often become fusion from using the ingredients available and adapting them. Sometimes it’s not so much about the flavor, as it is the experience of being in the kitchen with friends and bonding over the food that you grew up with.
Cooking and collaborating on recipes and food is a great way to share your own culture and experience others. It opens so many doors for sharing stories and building relationships-so gather around the table and get cooking!