I’ve always had a love for food and I’ve never shied away from trying new things. As a child, my mom never catered to me by preparing “kid-friendly” meals, and I now appreciate that she did this while I was growing up! She fed me what the adults were having, and if I didn’t like it, then too bad because that was all I was getting. Over time, I grew to like virtually everything and I'm now willing to try pretty much anything once. I’ve had escargot, I love calamari, I eat sashimi/sushi regularly. The most exotic food I’ve eaten is probably alligator, which I tried when I was in New Orleans in 2010 (it tasted like chicken to me).
I remember in public school, having friends over when I was about 10 or 11 and asking if they wanted a mango or avocado as a snack; some of my friends had never seen these foods before! Now I did grow up in a fairly rural and nearly all-Caucasian area, but thinking back now I can’t believe how limited some of these kids’ palettes were! I also had a few friends who were “picky-eaters” and only ate traditional foods, never straying away from items like frozen nuggets, hot dogs and perogies, or indulging their taste buds in any way for that matter. Imagine these kids visiting a truly exotic place like Vietnam or India – what would they eat!? I think having a diverse and exploratory palette allows for flexibility/ease when traveling and adaption to variety in everyday life as well.
Possessing the ability to openly try new things is a skill more people should adapt, as I’ve found a few items I really enjoy just because I was willing to try it. Hot Pot is something that I was only introduced to in the last few years and that I’ve come to like (though I sometimes find it too spicy and it comes back to bite me the following day). Pho (or Phở) is another dish that was exotic to me, but that I now enjoy. But the way I see it, if you don’t like it at least you can say you tried it.
I’ve also found that it’s important to be creative in the kitchen. To me, this means you try new recipes often, make something you’ve never made before, pick up a unique item from the grocery store and google how to cook it (I did this with shark recently). It’s also fun to take common food items and transform them into fun meals. They say the enjoyment of food is all about the presentation, and sometimes I have to agree that this is very true! I definitely enjoy my meal more when I've also enjoyed the process of making it and it's not just a chore. I love making fun meals for my boyfriend and trying new methods/ingredients with everyday items. I’ve also found that because I’ve made a few of these less common or hard-to-cook items myself, I appreciate the food more when I dine out and especially when it's done well.
So be adventurous with your food – try everything once and explore foods from around the world (even at home). Don’t forget to be creative when cooking for yourself and others because you never know what masterpiece you’ll cook up next!
I'm a 20-something woman working my way through life in Canada, traveling when I can afford it and seeking out my passions one day at a time.