There was a very interesting (to me) post on the LA board today, someone was asking about a noodle dish called Jja Jjiang Myun, thick white noodles served in a black sauce with some diced veg and meat. This dish is usually in Chinese restaurants that cater to Korean people.
The interesting thing is that this dish (along with a few other in the "Chinese for Korean" genre) is something that most Korean kids grew up eating for years and years, not only that, this is the kind of stuff that people in Korea order in all the time, much like how Americans order pizza in all the time. I (and all my Korean pals) have eaten tons of this stuff, so, while we still like/enjoy it, it is very pedestrian to us. But when we introduce our western friends (my wife included) to these foods, they think it is great, and sometimes make a really big deal out of it... don't even get me started on my "introducing my American friends to Kim Chee" stories.. saying there was a "wide variations in reactions" doesn't even come close!
All the while my American friends are tucking in to what my Korean friends and I consider "boring food", I am continually sneaking bites of my children's Mac 'n Cheese, and spaghetti, and I must confess, growing up, my Korean friends and I craved that "American Food" (stuff my wife thinks is "boring") and saw it as kind of exotic... odd, don't you think?
My wife and I are fairly adventurous eaters, as are our children (as much as they can be for both being still in diapers - 14 mos apart), but it is very interesting to see what each of us consider to be exotic based on our respective upbringing, me - Korean, my wife - very American traditional.
So I pose to all you hounds...
What did you grow up eating and do you have cross cultural (or not) friends that consider your "boring/everyday food" to be exotic?