Viewing food as a cultural tool is a centuries-old idea. Each country, region, and city have their special, local dishes based on ingredients found in the area. Often these recipes are passed down through generations, and reflect local style preferences. If someone came to spend a weekend in Eugene for the first time, where would you take them to eat? If you choose to take them somewhere unique to our local culture, such as Off the Waffle, Voodoo Doughnuts, or Ninkasi Brewing Company, you have just participated in something called gastrodiplomacy. By inviting someone to participate in Eugene’s culture through experiencing its distinctive food options, your guest may leave with a better understanding of what the locals are like and what makes our city so special.