A Slice of U.S. Culture


Estelar students eating pie

When I served up pie recently to my students at Instituto Estelar Bilingüe in Liberia, Costa Rica, I was surprised to see the blank looks on their faces.

“What’s this?” they asked, carefully examining the crust and smelling the filling.

Now, I’m no chef, so at first I thought my attempt at baking Banana Cream Pie, the easiest of pies to make, had flopped. In truth, it did not look as it should, and my students were brave to try it. But then I realized that they had never eaten a pie before.

They didn’t even know what it was!

A student has her first taste of pie. This was the least successful pie I made (see how liquidy it is?), but she asked for a second piece!

This is how I discovered that pie is typical of U.S. culture. But of course! The saying, “as American as apple pie,” means that something is typically American. Here in Costa Rica, pie is foreign and exotic, which is probably how a certain pie café that I recently heard about here can charge up to $30 per pie.

Part of the fun of living abroad is finding out cool little things about my country when I least expect it. It is refreshing to know that the U.S. is not only home to fast food and fast lifestyles.

We’ve got pie too! And its sweet goodness makes us slow down, smile, and feel good.

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2 responses to “A Slice of U.S. Culture

  1. Very nice story!! So true. I have a story: One of my classes was about sharing recipes and explaining their cooking demonstration in English. I told them I’d share Fried Green Tomatoes. This is something no one in CR has ever heard of. Sure enough, it was like moon cheese to them. but they loved them. we can’t assume anything.

    • How interesting, Connie! What strikes me about your story is that I also have never tried fried green tomatoes – and I’m from the U.S.. It would be like moon cheese to me too! So now I know what to have you make me the next time we’re in the same town 🙂

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