Food as a Cultural Experience

Have you ever tried new foods? Imagine traveling to a place, living there for a year or more, where every  food tastes new and different to your palette. This can be the au pair experience! I like to try new foods, but that seems a bit extreme. Many Host Families make an effort to find local markets which might cater to certain cultures. We have had situations from au pairs who discovered South African markets in the most unlikely places to ones whose Host Families were so dedicated as to drive around for three hours trying to find halal meats. As the saying goes, “the way to a man’s (or woman’s) heart is through the stomach.” Welcome to Go Au Pair Providence!

Get started on your cultural exchange experience at

Choosing your au pair can mean choosing to try all kinds of new foods from the country and culture of your choice! Go Au Pair can help! Register for free at

Host an au pair can be an adventure for the American Host Family as well as the au pair. Both parties get to try new foods, if they are willing, and so much more. Many au pairs love to share some of their fare from home, as it adds to the cultural exchange experience for the family and reminds the au pair of home. Cultural differences may soon become common ground! We have one family who encourages their au pair to share some new Colombian dish every week! Many au pairs also, according to blogger Summer Blackhurst, come to have an affinity for certain American foods, Cheetos in particular (side note: I really don’t like the crunchy ones very much).

One great attraction to becoming a Host Family is the flexibility of having live-in, cultural childcare for up to 45 hours per week, one price, no matter how many children in your family. Another great attraction for Host Families is the fact that your au pair becomes a contributing member of your family for the year or two that he or she lives with you, providing childcare as well as that extra set of hands just when you need them. Finally, au pairs can perform more than just childcare tasks; they can drive the kids, prepare lights meals and snacks, supervise chores and homework, provide language tutoring and cultural enrichment activities, plus even do child-related tasks like kids’ laundry and cleaning kids’ rooms and play areas! All this for one great price, lower than any daycare or nanny would charge when you have multiple children of different ages.

Au pairs come for a cultural exchange and life experience too. What they go home with is often much more than that, including Cheetos, according to Summer. Food in Rhode Island is a cultural exchange experience around every corner. In Providence alone, you can find outstanding Italian eateries, incredible Indian fare, delicious Vietnamese food, and so much more, and that is naming only a few! We also have some unique favorites that au pairs, an Americans from other parts of the country, must bring home. One example of this is our Autocrat Coffee Syrup, used mostly to make coffee milk, but also useful to enhance many other recipes. Even other states in New England do not offer this product; it is a Rhode Island specialty and our official state drink! We also love all things coffee-flavored, including ice cream – sorry au pair – we can’t send that home!

For more information about au pair favorites, cultural exchange experiences for your family, or to learn more about hosting an au pair to meet your varied childcare needs, please contact me, Joan Lowell, your LAR (Local Area Representative) for Go Au Pair in the Providence, RI area. Reach me by replying to this blog, calling me directly at 401.309.1925, email me at or register to get started for free at I look forward to hearing from you and your family – what tastes do you want to explore? South American? Chinese? South African? Russian? The choice is yours – I look forward to hearing from you soon!


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