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By mcbitter

It's pretty much a crime to live in Paris and not love their food, right? Good thing I am all about the French cuisine! Here are a few of my favorite things to eat in Paris.

  • Pain au chocolat. This little treat is flakey like a croissant but has little bits of chocolate inside. It's usually for breakfast, though it makes a good snack, too. I am a huge chocolate lover, so I'm glad that no one can judge me here for having chocolate for breakfast!
  • Baguette sandwiches. On campus, there are a few dining areas with student prices for lunch. They offer an array of different sandwiches, and the majority of them are on baguettes (obviously!). The Parisienne is the simplest, with just ham and butter; they also have poulet crudites (chicken pieces and veggies), jambon crudites (ham and veggies or salad), a caprese, and then a few veggie-only options.
  • Mousse au chocolat. Back to the chocolate! This is probably my favorite dessert of all time, not just in France, so it's good that I'm in the place that makes it best! Mousse au chocolat is very rich so you can't have it all the time, but when you do, it's a perfect way to end a meal. I had a friend visiting Paris last weekend, and we got mousse at the restaurant we went to for dinner.

I'm currently on break and am visiting Prague with some other students from my program, so we've been enjoying a lot of traditional Czech dishes too - sausage, roast beef, goulash, bread dumplings - but I'm looking forward to getting back to my French food soon!

By juliaraewagner

On my way home from Buenos Aires, I decided to take one last stop in South America before heading back up North to start the summer. I made some amazing Brazilian friends during my semester abroad with GW Latin America, so I decided to visit them in their home city of Sao Paulo.

I arrived at the airport at 1AM, but the city I encountered was still bustling with life. My friends picked me up, ushered me into their car, and said, "get ready, we're going out!" I was impressed immediately by the city's enormity and vastness; everything  is so big and spread apart. I was also bamboozled by the winding streets and relieved to have my Paulista friends to lead me around.

My first night in Sao Paulo was comprised of drinks and tamaki, a japanese dish much like sushi, but bigger and better. Tamaki generally includes raw fish, rice, and a topping all wrapped up in a large cone-shaped cup of seaweed--resembling a sushi snow cone. It was developed by the enormous Japanese population that immigrated here in the last century, and still thrives in the Japanese neighborhood of Liberdade. Tamaki, however, is popular all over the city, and enjoyed by all as a typical Paulista dish.

Where some cities are known for their beaches and others for their monuments or arts, Sao Paulo is known for its food. Ever since my arrival, I've done nothing but eat my way through the city.

The next morning, I met my friends parents, who took us out for a typical Paulista Sunday specialty: feijoada. Feijoada is a dish from colonial times comprised of beef and pork stewed black beans accompanied with other cuts of pork and garlic sauted greens all over rice. A former vegetarian and bean enthusiast, my mouth was watering as I dug into this delicious dish. My friend asked if I needed anything changed, reminding me of the tradition of "jeitinho brasileiro" or "the Brazilian way," which involves accomadating to a guest's needs. Of course, changes in the dish were wholly unnecessary as I couldn't imagine altering such a tasty dish.

My foodie adventures took me to a delicious pizzeria, which only serves pizza made with tomato sauce imported from Italy. There I also tried a typical Brazilian dessert known as Petit Gateau, which consists of a soft chocolate cake filled with gooey chocolate sauce or dulce de leche and accompanied by a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. I asked my friends why it carried the french name, and they had no idea. Since that night though, I've seen Petit Gateau featured on almost every restaurant menu.

Aside from food, I've had the most amazing coffee I've ever had in my life. My friend took me to her favorite coffee shop, where we spent an hour reading up on all of their featured blends before ordering. I decided to go with one of their "coffee experiments," in which I was tasked with investigating how drinking coffee with cheese or chocolate can change its taste. I took a sip of the delicious coffee they had brewed and tried a bit of chocolate before taking a second sip. To my surprise, the second sip had a completely different taste. I felt a similar sensation when I tried the experiement over with the cheese. I'm not sure that Starbucks coffee would necessarily warrant the same reaction.

Since my arrival less than a week ago, I've gone out to eat more amazing meals including delicious chinese, hamburgers, sushi, and more bowls of gelato than I can count. I didn't expect my stay in Sao Paulo to be a foodie's dream, but I'm glad I'm here!

By billienkatz

1. Pan con Tomate - this simple dish is simply toasted bread with a tomato spread, but it is one of the foods that has stood out the most throughout my time in Barcelona. My first experience with this dish was when my roommate and I wandered into a restaurant around the corner from our apartment for our first Spanish meal just a few hours after stepping off the plane and where we were jet lagged out of our minds. This (for some reason) is a staple on most restaurant menus and a definite 'must order' appetizer.

2. Paella - duh. Paella is a staple of Spanish meals in general; however, you truly don't understand how incredible it is until you actually eat it in Spain. Barcelona, specifically, has really amazing Paella because it is a port city and all of the seafood used is completely fresh. The only downside for someone like me who tries to view my food as just food and nothing more, the fact that the Spanish keep the heads on all of their seafood ruins a bit of the meal for me.

3. Cava - while Cava is certainly not a food group, it is very possible to argue that since it is an alcoholic drink, that it is essential to the Spanish diet. This isn't to say that everyone in Spain drinks copious amounts, but having a few beers or glasses of wine/cava/sangria at any point in the day is totally normal. I even saw a 4 year old playing with a not totally empty beer bottle once...Anyway, back to Cava! Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine, which is grown and produced in the Catalonia region. Essentially, Cava is to Spain, what Champagne is to France.

4. Fresh Juice - I am a fruit fanatic, and the concept of fresh-squeezed natural juices that are abundant in Barcelona is potentially one of my favorite things about studying abroad here. There are two very distinct types of juice in Barcelona. The first, is very common and from a giant industrial sized juicer that is found in every restaurant, cafe, and little shop you walk into. The second, and my definite favorite, is the 1€ juice available at La Boqueria (the big open market). The IES center where I take my classes is about a 5 minute walk down Las Rambles to the Boqueria, and I often find myself taking juice breaks because it's just that good.

5. Chocolate con Churros - there isn't enough to say about this dessert, except for the fact that it is amazing, fattening, and may result in a bit of self-loathing if you eat one too many, but it is such a worth it while visiting and more importantly, eating in Spain!

By zamorse

Israeli food is phenomenal, cheap, and healthy, so it was hard to choose a top 5 list. And of course, writing this post is going to make me very hungry, but here we go:

#1: Skakshouka- A dish of poached eggs simmering in a tomato sauce broth, with chili peppers, onions, cumin and other spices. It's a North African dish originally, but is popular in Israel because of Jewish immigrants from Tunisia. What I love about shakshouka the most is that it's easy to make at home. First you sautee whatever vegetables you want, pour in the tomato sauce, and then you poach the eggs in the sauce. Look up a recipe online, it's easy to make.

#2: Hummus and Pita- This dish, which I eat more of as a snack, is easy to get in any grocery store in America. But the hummus and pita is just better here. Hummus is made from mashed chickpeas, tahini sauce, lemon, olive oil, salt and garlic. It's a little complicated to make at home, but it can be done. There are restaurants here that are entirely devoted to hummus---imagine a restaurant in D.C. entirely devoted to cream cheese.

#3: Schnitzel- Brought to Israel by its German Jewish immigrants, Schnitzel is essentially a flattened chicken breast coated in bread crumbs and flour and deep fried. Served with french fries and lots of ketchup. This I mostly get frozen from the grocery store, which is still delicious, but every time I find it in a restaurant, I have to order it.

#4: Pomegranates- This fruit is one of my favorites back in the states, but in Israel, again, they're just so much better. Cut open the pomegranate over a bowl of water and let the seeds fall into the water, then drain the water, and you have a bowl full of pomegranate seeds. This is my go to snack when watching a movie or a TV show, rather than popcorn or chocolate.

#5: Shwarma and Falafel- This should really be two different foods, but i'm going to combine them both into my top 5 list because I couldn't figure out which one I liked better. Shwarma is meat of some sorts, usually lamb, turkey, veal, or beef served on a vertical spit. It's basically a rotating vertical spit of meat. When you order it, the restaurant takes what looks like a clothes iron and cuts the meat off, puts it in a pita or laffa bread, then adds hummus, tahini, tomato, cucumber and other sides to your liking. Falafel is served also in pita or laffa, and the various sides, but is a totally different dish. Falafel is a deep fried ball of chickpeas and is a healthy vegetarian alternative to shwarma. Both are street foods and easily about $5-$6. Restaurants here specialize in falafel and shwarma, so they are usually found in the same place.

Israeli food draws from its immigrant culture who come from all around the world, and come together to make a melting pot of food heaven.  And I can't wait to try more.

By catrionaschwartz

One of the things Italy is most famous for is its food. Obviously as a student you can’t indulge too much in eating out but in the two weeks I’ve been here I’ve found a couple of relatively cheap favorites.

  1. Pizzeria da Simone on Via Giacinto Carini in Monteverde (my local pizzeria).

Pizza in Rome is fairly different from pizza in New York. It is generally less oily and mozzarella and ricotta are the main cheeses used. Pizza also comes served two ways, pizza al taglio (which is in rectangular slices that are sometimes folded in two to make a sort of sandwich) and in the traditional round shape. Pizzeria da Simone serves pizza al taglio, which people generally buy as takeaway. Despite the numerous and inventive toppings (prosciutto, artichoke, anchovy, etc., etc.) my favorite is the pepperoni which has ground up pepperoni and mozzarella. Depending on the size of the slice you get it can cost between 1.30-2.50 euros.


An example of pizza al tagli0.

2. Dar Poeta, in Trastevere

At Dar Poeta, one of the most famous pizzerias in the neighborhood of Trastevere, I’m a bit braver when it comes to pizza toppings. Their eponymous Dar Poeta pizza has has zucchini, sausage, mozzarella and pepperoncino and is absolutely delicious. It costs around 7 euro but it’s served in the traditional round style so you are getting a lot more. They also have amazing bruschetta for only 3 euro!

3. Dolci Desideri on Via Barrili Anton Giulio in Monteverde

During my first trek around my neighborhood of Monteverde I saw a film crew outside Dolci Desideri. One of my roommates said that it was apparently a famous desert restaurant despite its somewhat less than central location in Monteverde. Next chance we got we went in and it immediately became apparent why this place was getting so much hype. Never have I seen such a variety of miniature cakes, cookies, chocolates, pastries, and other sweets. The price is by weight so it depends on what you choose but three small pastries is about 2.50 euro.


Pastries at Dolci Desideri, photo from here.

4. Circus on Via della Vetrina in the Centro Storico di Roma

This place was found while some friends and I were trying to find one of our go to gelato places. It is a café/bar/club/art gallery fusion which is wonderful but the reason I love this place is a little sad. Basically they had a giant sign that said bagels out front and I made my friends go in with me. To my utter surprise (and delight!) they had chai tea lattes as well. I know that I could probably survive four months without bagels or chai tea lattes but I’m embarrassingly happy that I don’t have to. Besides which they played a lot of old Broadway numbers and jazz so all in all it’s a nice place to relax!

5. Gelateria al Teatro on Via dei Coronari, in the Centro Storico di Roma

This gelateria is very close to both the IES center and the Piazza Navona and has some of the best gelato I’ve had in Rome along with the gelato at Grom and Gelateria della Palma (which has 150 flavors!) which are also in the Centro Storico of Rome. The Gelateria al Teatro has very unique flavors though. Thus far I’ve had ginger, pumpkin and white chocolate with basil there, but my friends have also had their raspberry and ricotta as well as their lavender and fig. Aside from the amazing gelato, the owner of the gelateria is very friendly and often serving at the counter and always smiling. A small (piccolo) only costs 2 euro!


The gelateria and associated pizzeria. Image from here.

Although these places are all amazing I'm sure there will be many more discoveries to come! Arrivederci!