I went to a college in Maryland in the late 90s where I was reintroduced to crab and also a monthly dinner of “Adventures in Dining” where we had everything from pumpkin soup to ostrich, venison, alligator, and truffles.  The food offered at the cafeteria was pretty awesome (at least to me) in that they had lots of different stations (like getting wraps, ice cream station, sandwiches, etc…  They also had theme nights where they had special food.

But my favorite was the pub and the club sandwiches and chicken tenders they offered.  Also, one of my college friends was South Korean and she was super involved in cultural things on campus.  She was kind to invite me to all these gourmet get togethers.  I also went to a soul food night where I was introduced to African American food.  My friends and I would go out to restaurants like Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Ethiopian, Indian etc…  I had no idea at the time how lucky I was to get invited to these dinners.  It literally felt like I was going to other countries.  I was so ignorant of that kind of thing, that looking back, it feels like I was discovering what it meant to be cultural.

Now, that I am kind of poor, I look back on those college years as a very rich time in my life.  I feel the food and people I encountered had a huge effect on my diet today and how open minded I try to be.   I’m not saying I had bad food in my childhood, (my parents did try to cook well) but prepared meals in grocery stores and take out and whatnot have certainly improved and it makes me feel cosmopolitan when I compare the semi-gourmet food I sometimes cook to the vastly improved prepared meals from these places.

Looking back on those college years, it kind of feels like the equivalent to a cruise ship, where I hear people are offered food all the time.  It might not have been the same quality, but it was everywhere and you simply had to be in the right place at the right time to experience all Western Maryland College had to offer.