On Immersing Yourself In the Food Of Your Neighborhood

A few weeks ago my husband and I moved across the state line from Missouri to Kansas. It has been quite the experience, and while it seems as if everything has gone wrong with our actual home, one thing has been a shining star throughout the ordeal — the local food. We live in a Russian meets Central American neighborhood, and one thing is for sure: we've never eaten better!

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My husband and I both speak enough Spanish to make our way through our new neighborhood without any complications and we've been exploring local dives and tiny mom and pop places on the nights we've been too tired to cook at home. We've eaten simple foods with fresh ingredients that sing in your mouth and leave you feeling completely satisfied. We're not talking premade dishes that just have to be reheated; we mean chicken grilled over a wood fire the second you order it, and house pickled onions!

Our local grocers and produce stands provide us with all sorts of fresh produce and meats (including all the wibbly organ bits too!) that are often hard to find in more traditional supermarkets. We haven't had to dig through a bin of cilantro once to find a bunch that didn't look like a drowned rat, nor have we had to ask the butcher for a specific cut of meat. (Our previous standard grocers usually just carried fat steaks, roasts and ground burger.)

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Prior to moving we would visit this neighborhood when we felt like eating cuisine from these parts of the world, but there's something 100% different about living here and eating here instead of just coming this direction when you feel like a taco. Though we probably prepared food like this 3 to 4 nights a week at home (before moving), being submerged in the culture has us eating this way almost every night and it's not only saved on our food budget, but has also altered the cravings we have for additional items such as snacks, beverages and more.

We're glad we made the move. It's like taking a mini vacation in your home town, though enjoyably, this is one vacation we never have to leave! Do you live in a neighborhood that caters to specific ethnicities? Do you love it? Hate it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Related: Recipe: Goat Tacos

(Images: Nimetimesthree, Flickr member California Avocados, The Infamous Gdub licensed for use by Creative Commons)

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Sarah Trover has lived all across the Midwest and currently calls the hot dog-laden city of Chicago home. She rides scooters and seeks out kitchens that make the best pie.