Children aren’t the only picky eaters—you might find foods you once loved no longer appeal. If you’d like to spice up your eating habits, check out our tips for expanding your culinary horizons.
Our palates continue to evolve as we age, and it’s common to lose interest in foods that you used to enjoy. However, resist the urge to narrow down your diet to a handful of items. Instead, teach your ever-evolving taste buds to enjoy new foods from across the globe.
Agree to step out of your comfort zone
The first step to expanding your palate is to commit to trying new things. As we get older, it’s easy to become confined to our comfort zones. If you want to liven up your eating habits, start by taking the word “no” out of your vocabulary. Buy interesting-looking produce that you don’t know the name of. Order off the specials menu. Shop at Asian supermarkets. The world is your oyster! (By the way, have you tried oysters?)
Give new foods at least three tries
Don’t expect to like new foods after one try. If a certain ingredient, flavour or cooking method doesn’t suit you the first time around, wait a week and then try it again. Everything is worth at least three tries.
Cook new ingredients yourself
Getting involved in the cooking process of a certain dish can help introduce you to its flavours. Rolling up your sleeves and handling interesting ingredients, rather than ordering them off a restaurant menu, is a great way to feel more connected to new dishes. Also, if you’ve worked hard to cook a meal, you’re far less likely to turn your nose up at it.
Immerse yourself in the culinary culture of somewhere faraway
Travel! Enjoy foreign foods as they’re meant to be enjoyed: in their native habitat. Vine-ripened fruit, freshly ground spices, fish caught that morning—there’s no doubt that local ingredients taste far better than those that travelled thousands of miles before landing on your plate.
If you can’t afford to jet off to Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Moscow or some other exotic location, then do your best to seek out different cultures here at home. In many communities, food is far more than fuel—it’s an incredibly social, expressive and even spiritual experience. Understanding the culture behind different cuisines will help you overcome your trepidations and climb out of your meat-and-potatoes box.
Do find trying new foods rewarding?