I was overcome with a boisterous laugh in a very mellow restaurant. As Alexandria explained to me, she used to be a teacher in China and genuinely enjoyed its numerous, unique cuisine. She told me that it wasn't unusual to eat delicious meals, that included meat, not to far from the grills that cooked them. Hence, meat sweats. Unfortunately, I had to deny that I had never experienced the sensation, but I was delighted by her deep appreciation of culture and great stories. During our preposterously palatable meal at Bida Manda (I'm not exaggerating. I couldn't stop talking about the lettuce wraps) Alexandria shared with me how food has changed her. "Food is such a social experience. I have to share my food when I'm eating with someone," she stated. For someone who initially lacked understanding of food — and the weight of its nutritional and communal values — experiencing different cultures through food was revolutionary." In other cultures, it's crucial to ask questions to gain a better understanding." That includes questions like, why is hot water such a universal cure in certain cultures? How did a student in China know Alexandria loved spicy food based on her complexion? Ask questions. Even better, ask questions over a shared meal with someone you don't know. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, take a bite of a new food and culture, and listen.