As a California native, I take pride in the food from my home state. Each time I return, I’m overwhelmed by the options available for every meal. It’s easy, though, to overlook some of the idiosyncrasies of Californian cuisine. Here are 21 realities you can relate to if you’ve lived in California.
1. You take personal ownership over acai bowls.
Okay, so maybe they originated in Brazil, but they were popularized by surfers in California and Hawaii. Ya, you’re welcome America.
2. You didn’t really know seasonal produce existed.
You’re so used to perpetual sun and farmers’ markets each weekend that you likely lose track of when produce falls out of season.
3. You cannot comprehend the Dunkin’ Donuts craze.
Mainly because there are only three in the entire state, but honestly is the coffee anything special? You’re likely a firm believer that Starbucks > Dunkin.
4. You’ve tried or have thought about trying a juice cleanse.
My friend’s sister’s aunt told me there was scientific proof that these work, right? Regardless, they’re hard to avoid when there’s a juice bar on nearly every corner.
5. Your dog is probably better fed than you are.
Life is ruff when the only thing on the agenda is your dog Sally’s beach party. There are easily as many bakeries for dogs and as there are for people.
6. You’re accustomed to asking for water at restaurants.
When you’re out of state, you likely get offended if restaurants automatically serve you water. Do you not know we’re in a DROUGHT? *realizes you’re in North Carolina*
7. More of your friends have dietary restrictions than not.
Which honestly isn’t terrible, considering there are some bomb vegan and vegetarian restaurants in California. At this point, you don’t even need to double check menus to make sure there’s something your friends can eat.
8. You may or may not actually know what gluten is (even if you’re gluten free).
“Gluten is like a grain, right?” Wrong. Gluten is a mixture of two proteins that’s found within grains, not the actual grain itself.
9. You laugh when your out-of-state friends ask about drinking on the beach.
This isn’t Barcelona: we have open container laws here, people. Plus most Californians don’t actually live near a beach.
10. You get personally offended when someone mispronounces “ahi poke.”
Californians pronounce it “poh-key;” in Hawaii it’s actually pronounced “poh-keh.” But definitely not “poke.” Try it with some homemade tortilla chips.
11. You wouldn’t dare order off the regular menu at In-N-Out.
There’s more to the menu than meets the eye at this burger joint. Everyone knows to order your burger or fries animal style – you won’t regret it.
12. You’re willing to drive more than an hour for dessert.
You know that ice cream isn’t a just dessert, it’s an art form. From ice cream filled donuts to Nitrogen ice cream, California has some of the best ice cream in the nation.
13. You have a keen love for Korean BBQ.
There’s nothing like cooking your own bulgogi atop a grill on your table. Korean BBQ has a sacred place in your heart.
14. You think tacos that cost more than $2 are overpriced.
You firmly believe every day should be Taco Tuesday. If you’re paying more than a few bucks for a taco, you’re doing it wrong.
15. Iced coffee is acceptable at all times of the year.
When you don’t really have seasons, it’s easy to stick with this habit. Plus cold brew coffee is trending.
16. The only time you’ll eat fried food is at the fair.
Fried chicken has never been your forte, but fried oreos and fried snickers at the fair? Yes, please.
17. You don’t order California rolls when you go to a sushi restaurant.
Cucumber, avocado and crab stick (a.k.a. imitation crab) don’t cut it. When you have so many fresh fish at your fingertips, why settle for mediocre?
18. Wine tasting is a typical weekend activity.
With Napa, Sonoma and Santa Barbara at your disposal, you hardly think twice about a weekend of wine.
19. Burritos are an acceptable food at any time of day.
Home of the original “California burrito,” this state serves up burritos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Anything can go in a burrito: eggs, steak, french fries, fish, you name it.
20. You’re a firm believer in boba (a.k.a. bubble tea).
You may have been skeptical at first, but you grew to love the tapioca pearls, milk teas and giant straws of boba tea. Tea houses are a popular spot for teens these days.
21. You’ve scolded your friends who dislike avocado.
Last but not least, appreciating avocados is pretty much a requirement for residency in California. Avo toast is a staple in your diet, so you may have lost friendships defending the avocado’s honor.