“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Try It!

As you know, I am a food adventurer. I like to try anything new. Some people don't, and I do not understand this way of thinking.

 "Ugh, it's new and different from anything else I've ever ingested, so I'll give it a miss."

For flip's sake, why? Why deprive yourselves of the opportunity to taste something potentially amazing! Something that might even alter your perception of food and drink in general?

So the mindset I always approach things with is "Hey, that's new/different. It would be churlish of me to pass it over without a second thought. I'll have some of that."

Sorry to rant, but people who just eat the same thing day in, day out are missing out on so much. Even just trying one new thing a week would open up a ton of possibilities.

I suppose I have always been like this. Or at least, most of the time. I remember when I was young I didn't like tomatoes or cheese. A few years later and I loved them.

I didn't like parsnips when I was younger, either. But one day someone encouraged me to give them a go. "Taste buds change and develop as you get older," she said. "Try one, it's not gonna kill ya."

So I tried it and found that in the 15 years that I'd been stringently avoiding them, I actually had been missing out. I loved them and still do.

I am a sampler, though. I love food festivals where you are given the opportunity to wander around and try nibbles of different things. Again, I remember once going to some event in Canterbury with my mother when I was about 13 years old. I can't remember what the event was, but it was about the time that my mother was a volunteer at Canterbury Hospital Radio and they were there providing the music that makes me think it was possibly a health-related fair of some kind. I went off wandering round the stalls on my own and I can't really remember any of them except one which was run by The Vegan Society. They had nibbles of food to try and since I was curious, and it looked good, I tried a small slice of a vegan Bean Pie. Utterly delicious.

So ever since then, whenever people make fun of Vegans, as they are apt to do, ("How can you tell if someone's Vegan? They'll tell you."), I've always said, "Vegan food is quite nice." Because it is. Because even though I'm not vegan myself (I'm merely vegan-curious), I feel the need to defend veganism from the naysayers. Because I feel that we should not just decide to block out one type of cuisine because of some poorly-informed reason.

Just like people that say they don't like Indian food or Chinese food or Mexican or Thai or Indonesian food. I feel that unless you have a legitimate health-based problem with a certain type of food or style of cuisine, you should go out and sample them - because you're missing out if you don't.

I used to work as a catering assistant, and one time we were tasked to create a wedding menu for a couple who were from two different backgrounds. The bride's family was from Guatemala and the groom's family were Polish. This was one of the most exciting things - coming up with dishes that married (pardon the pun) the two cultures so that everyone would be happy with what they were eating. So there were plantains and shredded cabbage, and Polish sausage stir-fried with roasted peppers, and on and on. And everyone told us we did a bang-up job, no mean feat considering neither of us had ever been to  Poland or Guatemala, or eaten the cuisine.

So essentially, what I'm saying is get out there and explore. Experience as many different cuisines as you can, and try new things. Because you sure as heck weren't put on this planet to eat pizza every day.

1 comment:

  1. This one definitely resonated with me. I had so many food issues as a kid and I can't even tell you why I had such aversions to certain tastes and textures. I think I'm way better now, but I still can't eat certain foods. I just can't do seafood. I can't eat things that weird me out or gross me out. Last week The Economist magazine was giving out free ice cream - the catch being you had to have it topped with mealworms, crickets, or grasshoppers. I totally supported their support of sustainable protein, but I just couldn't bring myself to order any.

    On the other hand, I don't shy away from ethnic foods. I may only eat traditional animal proteins and certain vegetables, but I am open to all sorts of preparations. Bring on the spices and sauces!


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