This blog is going to be a little different than our more recent ones. But don’t let that deter you.
Believe it or not my palate used to be that of a five year old: chicken nuggets, fries, spaghetti-o’s, hot dogs… that’s all I wanted to eat outside of top ramen. When I moved out on my own for the first time, I started to explore but only within the flavors I knew I would like (so anything with a lot of cheese). If it didn’t come in a box or pre-made though, I usually didn’t make it. And even going out, it was rare that I didn’t go to a place that I knew had chicken fingers as a back up plan on the menu. Sure I would adventure out a bit every now and then for something like sushi, but it took a lot of courage for me to head to a place that served up Japanese Italian fusion dishes or Vietnamese food that I didn’t understand or to get Cornish pasties. (all which are places I did go to in Las Vegas and thoroughly enjoy with friends who knew what they were ordering!)
Over the last three years though (and maybe it’s because I’m dating an Indian guy who loves food that is anything but the items listed above) my food tastes started to change at a sustainable pace and I don’t think they are ever going to revert back!
When I started looking back on the year we’ve spent together through this blog I started to think about how crazy it is that I have tried so many new foods in the past year alone. Whether it’s been at a new restaurant or a new recipe I stepped out of my comfort zones and my need for perfection and made and/or tried some amazing foods this year. And I wanted to share some of my tips on how you can do this too!
Tip # 1: Start with foods you know and make little changes in them. For example I enjoy pizza every now and then, so when I wanted to healthy it up I switched out the bread for zucchini but left all the other toppings the same. You don’t have to dive in head first to something new. Baby steps are super helpful when looking to expand your palate.
Tip #2: Be okay with messing up. Not every new recipe is going to look just like the picture and you may not enjoy every new recipe your first time making it. I’ve made plenty of things this year that I either tossed because I didn’t like it or that I ate and was like hmmmm this needs more something! Cooking is not something that you get right every time. You will love some dishes and hate others. You will need to add more salt or pepper or butter next time or maybe, just maybe it will be perfect the first time! Either way, just keep going!
Tip 3: Try things more than once and try varieties of things. I had Paealla twice this year, but very different versions: one was a homemade version and the other a restaurant one. Honestly, if I wouldn’t have had the homemade one first I probably wouldn’t really care for paella now. That’s the thing, you have to try different varieties of things because not everyone is going to make the same dish the exact same way. And that also goes for recipes. If you find you don’t like something in one recipe, hop on the internet and find another one with something different. This is like a choose your own adventure book, you get to decide what you like and what you don’t like.
Tip 4: Find a food adventure buddy. Haris and Michelle have been the most stable food adventure buddies this year. Not only has it made it more fun, it’s also helped push me to try so many new things. I will never forget the first time Haris ordered squid and chicken heart a few years ago (way before this journey began) and I was horrified at the idea of eating that… but this year I ate like 5 chicken hearts and so many other odd things because he encouraged me to try them. You don’t have to try new foods alone. Find people you are comfortable with and try them together and laugh when you spit it out because you hate it. (Side Note: It also doesn’t hurt that he too likes to cook and makes odd foods at home for us to try too!)
I’m sure there are so many people who have so many more tips, and I’m sure I’ll post about this again one day. I’ve been so blessed to get the opportunity to explore new foods this year and cannot wait to do it more next year, and you best believe that things will keep getting cooler, odder, and way more adventurous on here.
Comment below if you have any tips to trying new foods!