Try It, You Might Like It

Life Lesson #12: Don’t be afraid to try new foods.

Today’s life lesson was inspired by Paul Prudhomme (world-class chef) who said “You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.”


A Cautionary Tale…
When I grew up, I didn’t like to try new foods. My grandmother made homemade Italian food and I feasted whenever I wanted. My mom and dad cooked a bit too – mostly American and Italian fare. I ate good, but I mostly ate the same things, and because I didn’t try different foods as a kid, I know I missed out on a lot of new experiences. The aversion to trying new foods carried over into my late 20’s – and it almost cost me my marriage! Let me explain – on the first date I ever had with the woman who would become my wife, we went to have SUSHI at her request. Now coming from land-locked upstate Pennsylvania and the small town of Williamsport, I’d never even heard of sushi growing up — so when my new girlfriend suggested we go eat it, I said “ah, ok” even though the thought of eating raw fish turned my stomach. As it turned out, I did not eat sushi on that date (I ordered ‘beef with broccoli’ stir-fry instead). Granted it wasn’t a very manly choice to not try something new, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Luckily my girlfriend didn’t break up with me for being such a spoilsport. In fact, not only did she eventually convince me to try sushi, but we later got married too. And, I’ll have you know that sushi is actually now one of my favorite foods! Who knew? Alas if only I would have tried it sooner.


What This Means to YOU…

Look, I’m not gonna lie to you — the truth is that you will probably not like every food that you try. But it’s also true that you will most definitely find new foods you DO like if you keep an open mind (and open mouth!). In addition, I’m here to tell you that sampling new foods is really fun so I encourage you to try new things – you’ll be surprised at what you discover you like to eat.

On top of that, if you want to become a better cook, trying new foods like this will add to your inspiration and also your skill set – it did for me. I’ve always loved to cook – even as a kid. But now that I have changed my views and am eager to try new foods, my cooking is even better – I have more food ideas to get ideas from and more cooking techniques to draw upon. It’s also helped me to make new friends as well and when that happens the entire process snowballs into even more food, even better cooking, and even more friends.


Give This a Try…

If you are having a bit of trouble getting over the hump, try using the technique my family uses: we have a rule – it’s from a book called “The Two-Bite Club” by Adrienne Durrett — and the gist is simple – whenever you have a new food on your plate at dinner, you don’t have to eat it all if you don’t like it, but you do at least have to try it by eating two bites of it. If you like it, awesome – you get the enjoy the rest of it on your plate. If not, that’s cool too — thanks for trying it and you don’t have to eat anymore. It works great for my son Jax and he has discovered a number of new foods that I would never have even tried as a kid. Some of his current favs are: hummus, guacamole, ginger dressing on his salad, and even salmon skin (yes I said fish skin!) And you should see this boy eat sushi!


Don’t Wait, Use This Wisdom Today…

Do yourself a favor – try something new today — you’ll be amazed at what you find you like.


Did You Know…

Today’s lesson was adapted from a book Jax and I wrote called Diary of a Minecraft Dad

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