On the forum that I frequent, Yolisto, someone asked about what people ate. Whether we (the expats) had found that our cooking and eating had changed by living here. I started this big long post in response but as I wrote it I realized that I was probably NOT the sort of person who he was targeting.However I do have some thoughts on the subject.
People who move to a foreign country generally keep to their native style of cooking. Which is why when I go NOB I can go out and easily eat Vietnamese, Indian, Italian,Chinese, Japanese, Texas Barbeque, and French food. For Cuban food, I can go eat at my mother’s house. That is the point. You might start introducing foreign foods into your diet, if you are adventurous, but generally you stick with what you know.
I’m very fortunate in that my mother is a very curious and intelligent woman, when she would encounter a new vegetable in the supermarket, she’d immediately question someone buying it. How do you use this? If that failed she would just bring it home,do some research and find out how to prepare it. Which is why I know that you can eat turnips raw in a salad. Most of the odd vegetables to find their way home with my mother were things like parsnips, turnips and mesclun. The mesclun was more readily accepted by the hoard than the root vegetables.
It’s the second generation that becomes more native. My children eat more “American” than me, I didn’t marry another Cuban-American so my cooking changed somewhat.
Now that I live in Mexico, I make more Cuban food than previously, simply because the ingredients are available. Though to be honest, when I find yucca it’s often in a less than desirable state.