I am Los Angeles born and raised, and the food culture there it really unique. There's a diverse range of foods at every price range and famous taquerias everywhere. When I moved halfway across the country to attend The University of Kansas, I was dumbfounded by some of the weird food and traditions that I discovered during my first few months in a whole new world. 

You Immediately Miss the Magic of In N Out

cheese, french fries
Chase Masters

There's something remarkable about the famous California burger joint that cannot be mimicked by any other place in the country. From the infamous animal fries to the scrumptious secret sauce, this drive-thru remains in our hearts for a reason. While we can find similar burgers from local burger places, nothing can compare to the thrill of ordering a '#2, animal style."

You're Spoiled with a 10-Month Strawberry Season

berry, strawberry, sweet, pasture
Allyson Busch

Back in CA, we're very spoiled with our incredible 10-month strawberry season, and I realized so when I tried to find my favorite berries in my local grocery store in Kansas. The classic sweetness I'd grown up loving was just not the same outside of the golden state. I do enjoy the diverse groups of local and seasonal fruits I get at the farmers market, but there's just nothing like California strawberries.

You Begin to Realize You're Superfood Crazy

Laura Lim

The average 20-year-old college student probably isn't a fan of throwing back wheatgrass shots and topping their açaí bowl with seeds and berries galore. Yet I am obsessed with topping my sweet smoothie bowls with various seeds, nuts, and fruits to make sure I'm getting all of my vitamins and minerals.

Every friend of mine from Kansas thinks I'm a nutcase when I add kale to every smoothie or choke down wheatgrass shots like a champ, but every Angeleno knows that these foods are incredible for health and wellness. Does it make me crazy that I love kale? Probably. 

You Realize You've Never Had Real Barbecue

meat, chicken, bread, vegetable, cheese
Kelly McAdam

My first meal in Kansas City, MO was at the famous Jack Stack BBQ at the Plaza. It was a life-changing experience and it made me realize that all other barbecue I had experienced was far inferior. There may be some great barbecue joints on the coast, but nothing really compares to the traditional flavors you experience in the heart of the country. 

The Ranch Thing Starts to Make Sense

April Purvis

Okay, so this still doesn't make that much sense to me, but I kind of understand it. Ranch dressing tastes good on everything. I've had it on pizza, chicken tenders, salad, fries, you name it. It's a classic flavor that I've experienced and enjoyed, but can never seem to explain to my Californian counterparts. I guess it'll remain our little secret...

cream, ice, ice cream, chocolate, sweet, milk
Andrew Prayogo

California will remain my forever home, but I've found another home in the Midwest and have become accustomed to its quirky and special traditions. The warmth from the Midwest and its food has truly won over my heart and I'm glad I ventured outside my comfort zone to experience all it has to offer.