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Eating in a far away country without having to plug your nose to get it down. Part 1, MEAT

Updated on August 25, 2012
Not your average freezer section, this is the equivalent to a deli, minus the glass, and many other things.
Not your average freezer section, this is the equivalent to a deli, minus the glass, and many other things. | Source

One of the biggest challenges to living in a foreign country, particularly in a third world country, is finding something to eat. Sure there are always plenty of items to choose from but I am referring to finding something that is palatable to you. We have all watched enough TV reality shows to see there are a whole host of things that other cultures consider delicacy that we never want to try.

Here are a few ideas that can help you to make it in that out of the way place with eating meat:

1.) First, all meats are not the same. Beef in the United States has its own distinct taste, fed mostly by corn. In the UK as well as other parts of Europe corn is not the major source of food for the cow, giving it a much different taste. Do not expect a steak in Asia to taste like USDA. Beef is probably the best meat to step away from at first; it is way too extreme of a difference.

Let’s talk about pork. Many countries frown on pork, mostly Muslim nations of course, but also Hindu and even Buddhist. Thus it is not a well develop market or even available. But if it is, you are in luck. Pulled pork, one of the great American comfort foods of the South can be easily and cheaply made. A pork loin is often much cheaper than in the States. Find some BBQ sauce (if possible), or make your own. Bacon will often not be smoked, so it will have a distinctly different, not very pleasant, taste in my opinion. But..., bacon grease is bacon grease and it makes a great American taste. Cook the bacon, throw out the bacon and use the grease to cook with.

I saved the best for last, chicken. The good part about chicken in other countries is that it tastes like…well, chicken. Of all meats it seems to hold the same flavor no matter what it is fed. Chicken can be cooked so many ways that there is certainly something that you can find that will give that taste like home feeling.

2.) WARNING! WARNING! Do not think because chicken is the same that Turkey will be also. One of the worst mistakes we made was to get a turkey for Thanksgiving. It just about turned me away from turkey forever, it was nasty.

That doesn’t mean you cannot have a great Traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, just substitute chicken, use two or three if you need to. You can stuff them just the same. It is a great alternative.

3.) Another trick that we did that turned out to be great, if pork is available. Sausage, the American way, is not usually available. But, it is actually relatively easy to make sausage. Most countries will have access to the herbs that are in sausage. We were able to look up recipes online and make both Italian and Breakfast sausage. How exciting it was to be able to produce biscuits and gravy so far away from home.

4.) One last thing. As you might imagine from the photo above, some of the meats may not be as sanitary as you are used to. Rather not as sanitary as your body is used to. You may not taste the impurities so much, but the little friends that come aboard will definitely play some tricks on your stomach.

We did something that sounds at first as quite disgusting but it actually worked well. Mix a little bleach with some water and make a bath for your meat. You don't need to mix it too strong but enough to kill the bacteria that has begun from sitting out in the sun. It does slightly change the color of the meat a bit but again there is not a noticeable taste difference. But, your stomach will definitely notice the difference. Your stomach will thank you and you will in turn thank your stomach, trust me on this one.

I’ll talk about fruits and vegetables in my next blog.

Let me know your experience.

Have you ever ate meat in a foreign country?

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