By revisiting my expectations of Rasa Ria, I realized the extent of my misguidance. Now I did not expect to walk into a 5-star restaurant; I also didn’t anticipate walking into a one-room hostel with an Internet connection. To say the least, I was under impressed with the ambience of Rasa Ria. The self-service and casual atmosphere denotes the kind of customer that would frequent the quaint restaurant. This wasn’t where I ate when I was with my parents. Instead this kind of restaurant represented what college has become for me: a place to experience and try new things. Most importantly somewhere I would be able to grow by stepping outside of my comfort zone. I think that Rasa Ria definitely presented a unique cultural experience was different from my own.
The restaurant included many recipes that were Indonesian, with a Malaysian flare brought by the Gome family. Rasa Ria is authentically fusion. It is a mix of Asian cultures brought to the American table. Through this course, I came to realize that the term “authenticity” is very subjective because of the evolution of culture. The authority who might call a dish authentic or not is also disputed. Therefore, as a relatively uncultured, liberal arts college student, I will call food served at Rasa Ria authentically fusion and authentically delicious.
I hope to continue my exploration with food beyond the confines of my Food and Travel Seminar. It is my greatest hope that I will be able to study abroad in Ecuador for my Junior year at Kalamazoo College. With the application process underway, I can only imagine the exotic food I will be eating. I envision fruits with spikes, fresh fish, or flan. I look forward to go into any future culinary experience with an open heart and mind. Not every taste is for me, yet I will try my best to enjoy the effort and respect the culture of each dish. And after completing the Sophomore Food and Travel Seminar, I have found it is often not the taste that makes the food, yet the context in which you surround yourself.