Often there has been large discussion in relation to the verbal and non-verbal consequences of being raised as a third culture kid, but what about the drastic effects this can have on your taste buds? The main advantage of being a third culture kid is that one’s linguistic repertoire and speech accommodation skills is greater than a monolingual. However, over the years I have realised that one can also end up having wider receptors for taste as a consequence of biculturalism.
For instance, having been born and raised in London has meant that I was exposed to a very different cuisine than of my parents. Plus being raised in a multicultural city also means you are exposed to a wide range of cuisines and food products. English and Turkish are two distinct languages and this contrast can also be applied to British and Turkish cuisine. If you are brought up in England you have a high chance of developing a “sweet tooth” (not a good thing and even soup contains some sugar in British cuisine which I do not enjoy) and enjoying bland meals. At school we were used to eating half-cooked/simmered bland vegetables and having hot custard on top of our cake was a must. Fresh milk is also the most widely consumed dairy product in Britain, as it is consumed widely with tea, coffee and cereals, whereas in Turkish cuisine yogurt is more widely consumed. So unlike my parents, I also enjoy eating bland and raw or half-cooked vegs, and having baked beans on toast and cereal for breakfast. Plus, a house without fresh milk is in my opinion no different from an empty house, whereas for my parents plain yogurt is a must. Contrary to my parents, I also do not enjoy eating very salty Turkish cheese and instead prefer mild and sweet cheese such as Edam. The contrastive list can go on and on but will keep it short for now. The crux of the matter is that third culture kids can end up being unique and different from their parents, since their palate can enjoy a wider range of tastes (and somewhat different), and I am one of them 🙂 Having said that, I appreciate and enjoy both British and Turkish cuisine, and because I can compare and contrast, I am also better at choosing the healthier options 🙂