The Food Connection — How Food Bridges Cultural Divides

The United States is the world’s cultural melting pot

Sharing Food Culture in St. Louis

22 May 2019

The United States is the world’s cultural melting pot. Every day, you’re surrounded by people who look different, talk different, worship different, and think differently than you. To understand and appreciate the rich cultures all around, you don’t have to necessarily walk a mile in another’s shoes — you just need to taste what they’re serving up.

Food is more than just necessary calories and nutrition. It’s a reason to gather, a reason to communicate, a reason to celebrate. It’s a staple at funerals, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and even end-of-the-week Friday triumphs — because food is a substantial part of our lives. Ultimately, food is the life-bringing sustenance we provide our bodies, and how we fuel our lives isn’t trivial.

Culture and Food are Inseparable

You might not get the opportunity to visit Mumbai, India, or Rome, Italy, but you can learn to embrace and enjoy these unique cultures with authentic cuisine. The closer you get to the source, the closer you get to understanding the culture. So, while Panda Express might give you a glimpse into China, a more authentic chef-made meal might give you a broader view, while visiting the country and experiencing Chinese food will give you the whole egg roll (so to speak).

The opposite is true, too. Can you imagine trying to appreciate Mexican culture without sitting down and enjoying an authentic taco or enchilada? Or visiting Germany without trying a bratwurst or wiener schnitzel? It’s hard to separate food from a culture, and that’s part of the reason why it’s such a powerful bridge over cultural divides.

The foods people eat tell a story about who they are and where they come from. Many ingredients used by different cultures correlate to their special geographies. Factors like climate, topography, government regulations, population growth, and even advances in technology all play a role in why we eat what we do.

Sharing is Caring

Food. We all need it, we all eat it. That’s why sharing meals makes bridging cultural divides simple. Unlike learning a culture’s difficult dance, language, or extensive history, consuming food is instinctual and essential. Everyone from children to aging adults can pick up a fork and knife to eat and explore. To investigate this concept, students at Mississippi State University conducted a research project to examine a recipe’s impact on culture and diversity.

“Bringing together students from diverse backgrounds to share personal memories, recipes and a meal in the context of their unique cultural backgrounds proved a fun and enriching way to build empathy and promote cultural and global awareness,” explained Emily McGlohn, an organizer of the project. “Sharing a meal is a sensitive, respectful way to understand, learn and start a conversation about our heritage, home and history.

And there’s no better place to experience America’s diverse cultures than St. Louis. At, we connect you to the community through genuine dishes served from expert chefs. Whether you want to experience the cultures of India, France, Syria, or The South, we’re serving up fresh, nutritious dishes that carry authentic culture in every bite.

You choose the chef, you choose the meals, and we do the shopping, prepping, cooking, and packaging. You just warm, serve, and enjoy. There’s no better way to embrace the cultures of the world from the comfort of your home. Give a try today and begin your cultural journey through the St. Louis community. You’ll be surprised what rich and beautiful history have been sitting right in front of you all along.