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Column: Upgrading the souvenir

Let’s just say I am not too excited to be returning to the United States.

Why would I want to leave the city of food when I am a self-proclaimed

Yet, if anything, I will be taking back the best memories of my time here.

There is no doubt that France established itself in the world of food. There is no place like it in terms of gourmet culture. I am going to miss walking down a street and smelling fresh bread baking non-stop all year. It’s sad to say, but America’s food culture just isn’t the same.

So, for the past month, I have mentally prepared myself. What could I do to aid my re-entry into the United States? Because while it sounds like a cheesy academic term created by study abroad programs, it does exist. I call it reverse-homesickness. I am already feeling it, and I haven’t even left Paris yet.

I have always said that food has a unique ability to lend itself to memory. Much like smell, food can make anyone remember just about anything. You will always remember the taste of your mother’s best dish. You will also always remember the taste of your mother’s worst dish.

Imagine a sandwich with Cheetos loaded in between two layers of cream cheese and jelly. Yeah, that monstrosity fell under the second category.

Unlike most people who take back a load of Eiffel Tower printed souvenirs, you can count on me bringing back a suitcase of my favorite foods from here. To me, the best souvenir a tourist can bring home is a memory. For me, my best memories happen to have flavor involved.

It also helps that a pack of snack food will most likely be way cheaper than any “Paris” emblazoned product I might find elsewhere in the city.

So, when I find myself sitting on my couch in Texas one week from now, I will be able to go into the kitchen, rip open a package and eat the cookies my host mother always brought out when I needed a homework break.

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