Editor’s note: This is the first in a series about life as a Seventh-day Adventist missionary child.
Food is a topic that can keep missionary kids talking for hours.
Yes, rice does come in a huge variety, and no, the rice in the United States never tastes quite right. Beans cooked over an open fire do taste better, and bananas in the United States taste like cardboard in comparison to “real bananas” that are plant ripened.
We miss fruits you may have never heard about, like mangosteens, dragon fruit, and limoncillos. We even miss things like yucca, palm fruit, and lemon grass.
You may be a missionary kid if:
1. You know the difference between many kinds of mangoes and bananas.
Did you know there is a red banana? And did you know that while some mangoes are better than any custard, one type tastes like turpentine? And unless you are a missionary kid, you may not know what turpentine is.
2. Treats in the mission field included vegemeat, raisins, pecans, and a can of cranberry sauce hoarded since that last time you went on furlough.
3. You know the difference between lychees, rambutans, and limoncillos, although internally they resemble each other quite a bit.
4. You can't imagine eating meat because you’ve see it “battered and breaded” with flies and maggots in the meat market.
5. You think tortillas cooked over an open fire are amazing.
6. You truly feel sorry for Jesus because He said He won’t drink grape juice until He has some with us in heaven (Matthew 26:29).
You only got that special juice at Communion, and it was never nearly enough to satisfy you. So as an adult, the juice of choice on Sabbath is always grape juice because it is still special.
7. You know what banana honey is and love it.
(To make banana honey, cook bananas down slowly in a pot of water and the resulting strained syrup is amazing on pancakes or waffles.)
8. You think you might one day want to move to Australia because they have Marmite and Weet-Bix.
So obviously Australia would be an awesome place to live!
Karen Taylor Glassford was born to U.S. missionary parents in Puerto Rico and grew up in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Honduras. As an adult she has lived in South Korea and Guatemala and gone on many short-term mission trips, most recently to Rwanda in May 2016. She currently works at Institute of World Mission at the General Conference.