Continued from Part 1:
So, here are some practical ways to work on being more diverse in your appetite even before you travel:
1) Read up
Find out what food is popular in the place you plan to visit. What is their specialty? What are they known for? Try that!
When I was in Ireland, it was Fish & Chips wrapped in paper. In Germany it was their many types of sausage and bratwurst. And in Rome, it was their amazing pasta and pizza.
Every region and country has their specialties so take the time to find out what they are and embrace it. You might say, “Hey, I am a picky eater. There is no way I am trying Blood Pudding in England. Yuck!”
Some things will be harder to stomach than others, I agree. The point is to be willing. I was surprised to find that those endless cups of Chai that I sampled in Nepal are now a favorite tea choice for me still today. Many other things I have tried are now a part of my favorites list.
2) Eat out
Go to ethnic places in your town and sample some of the fare you will be eating abroad. This is not always possible and if not, you can typically find specialty markets where they have imported goods you can buy.
Do your homework and give it a try. I just had Korean food not to long ago and it was delicious.
3) Be adventurous
You may find by doing a little exploring or by befriending people from other cultures that you like some of their cuisine more than you think. Don’t instantly turn your nose up and say no. You never know what you might like until you try it!
My husband and I were invited to a clients’ house 3 or 4 years ago for a big Iranian feast. We knew no one except his client however the group welcomed us gladly. They had prepared an amazing feast with trays of Persian food and by the end of the night they were like family. Because we showed such eagerness to taste everything, they were delighted to keep feeding us! And I can tell you that I had some of the most incredible food that night, and a full stomach too!
Every year or so, I have a Fig Newton. What’s the big deal about that you may ask? Well, for starters I don’t like them! But I still have them every so often just to make sure that I still don’t like them. Sounds funny but it’s a simple reminder to keep trying things. Because I have purposely cultivated my taste buds to many different flavors, I can (mostly) enjoy a variety of flavors and cuisines. Sure, there are some I like more than others, you bet! But my list of things is growing all the time. Oh, I don’t like kettle corn either but I still keep trying it.
I encourage you to never stop trying things no matter how old you get!
No experience in my life has brought more diversity and appreciation for the many other cultures out there than travelling extensively to over 20 nations and meeting many friends along the way.
From the incredible hot dog stand in Cartagena, to the Roasted Pumpkin & Lamb with mint jelly in Queensland, and many tasty bites in between, I feel that I have matured in my view of the world and all of the rich diversity in it. And much of it stemmed from my willingness to try regional cuisines.
So, Bon Appétit! And, I hope you will go into all the world too!