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10 Signs You Learned to Eat in California

by Julia Kitlinski-Hong Apr 14, 2017

1. You put Sriracha on everything.

Everything goes well with this hot sauce for you, whether it’s eggs, burgers or noodle soups. You buy it in bulk from your local Asian grocery store because your worse fear is that you will run out one day, mid-meal. In California, Sriracha has reached cult following, appearing on everything from potato chips, almonds, and breakfast sandwiches.

2. You know the best brunch includes dim sum.

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Whether eaten as takeout or at a restaurant, nothing compares to a dim sum mid-morning feast. Highlights include soft BBQ pork buns, plump shrimp dumplings and egg custard tarts that are the perfect finale to an excessive amount of food. Dim sum is always a great alternative to the standard American brunch of pancakes and eggs, especially when you have so many delicious places like Koi Palace or Sea Harbour Seafood to choose from throughout the state.

3. You consider avocado a separate food group.

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Avocados on your toast, tacos, salads and smoothies…the list never ends. Californians are spoiled with an abundance of this creamy fruit and we make sure that we do not let it go to waste. Sometimes the simple pleasure of eating an avocado plain with a dash of sea salt or Sriracha is one of our favorite (healthy) snacks.

4. You know the difference between cage free, organic, free range and pasture raised.

In California, eating healthy is taken to another level and this does not exclude an obsession over eggs. You know that the healthiest is pasture raised, but you also know that it’s overly expensive and you usually go for free range instead.

5. You know a baked good is worth it if the line is long.

If there is a line snaking out the door, then you know the donut/cronut/cupcake is worth the painfully long wait. Here in California, we are trained from an early age that the hype for good food like Mr. Holmes Bakehouse means bringing your patience- luckily we usually have a lot of it.

6. You have a soft spot for raw fish.

Ceviche, poke, sushi-you do not shy away from raw fish. Living in California, fresh seafood is widely available and it would be a sin not to take advantage of it in all it various cultural dishes.

7. You know the best tacos come from the most unexpected places.

A hole-in-the-wall spot that is not clearly labeled, but serves the best carne asada tacos or chicken tacos from a street truck-you know the best tacos take effort to hunt down. You also know that the best tacos do not come with an ideal dining atmosphere because it’s all about the food.

8. You know kale intimately in its many forms.

You find comfort in finding kale in your salads, smoothies and even in chip form. Being a Californian, you embrace this trendy vegetable in all its guises knowing that you will be getting your daily dose of Vitamin K.

9. You expect tamales, sushi or fried rice to grace the table at your holiday gatherings.

Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas hams are usually not the only highlights of holiday meals. Californians are a diverse bunch and finding a bit of Mexican or Chinese food as part of the holiday spread is not something unusual, in fact, it’s expected.

10. Whenever you come back from out-of-state you go directly to In-N-Out for a taste of home.

Coming back from spending time in other states or abroad, one of the things that you make a beeline for is an Animal Style Burger from this classic California fast food chain. There is nothing that is a better remedy for homesickness than an In-N-Out burger with hand-cut fries and a milkshake on the side.

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