I can't overstate how important I think it is to be adventurous with food. There are few things more annoying than going out for dinner with someone who dominates every mealtime because there are so few things they can eat. Other than the fact that you'll stop annoying everyone you know, there are plenty of good reasons to start being more adventurous with food - here's why!
This is an obvious reason to start being more adventurous with food, which is why I'm surprised when people don't seem to get it. If you haven't tried it, how can you possibly know if you don't like it? 'It looks horrible' is not nor will ever be a good reason to not try something. Stop it.
Food is a huge part of life, and it's one of the most important ways of bringing a community together. It's not only about what you eat, but where you go, what you do, who you meet. The food we eat is so closely linked to our cultures and identities - don't close yourself off from that.
If the above is true, then naturally you're limiting yourself socially, too. As I mentioned before, there is nothing more irritating than someone who has a small list of places they can eat at. I have friends like this and I'm tempted to just stop asking them anywhere.
Worse than fussiness, much worse, is ignorance. As with everything, when you turn your nose up at something you don't know anything about, it is ignorance - doesn't matter if it's food, people, a place; it's ignorance and there's no excuse for that.
When you visit somewhere new, you go and see the sights, maybe go to some museums - right? Well, why wouldn't you sample the food, too? Try everything, all the local delicacies! Every time I go somewhere, a significant portion of my lasting memories come from meals out that I've eaten - roast goose in a brewery in Prague, fresh seafood on a beach in Thailand, macaroons in Paris! The local culinary scene is as much a part of the local heritage as that cathedral you walked round earlier, after all.
Every day I read something new about eating healthily or dieting, or whatever. Now, I know it's important to eat healthily but if you have a limited repertoire of dishes to choose from, lettuce can get pretty boring. Then again, I don't really go in for faddy diets. So, instead I think about all the options on offer that we wouldn't necessarily have come across so easily fifty years ago in the US or the UK. Eating healthy can be a lot more fun if you're delving into a sweet and spicy Vietnamese salad.
A cheery note to end on; I absolutely love food, from learning about it, to cooking it, to eating it. Don't eat just to survive - take joy in it, be delighted by something new that might just become your new favourite thing to eat, linger for hours over a meal shared with friends and family. You are what you eat, after all - may as well enjoy it!
I hope this inspires you to go out and eat something you wouldn't normally. Are you adventurous in your food choices? Do you find it annoying when you meet people who aren't?
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