Vacation Etiquette: Trying (And Saying ‘No’ To) New Foods

Given that most of us come to this site because we love food, it’s probably safe to assume that we all love to sample new dishes and ingredients while traveling. That might mean clam chowder in Boston or it might mean scorpion skewers in Beijing. But we all have our limits! What’s your approach to trying new foods and where do you draw the line?

My approach is to ask a lot of questions. If I don’t recognize something, I’ll ask about it: what’s in it, how it was prepared, what spices were used, and so on. I often find that once I understand more about the dish, it doesn’t seem nearly so intimidating.

I draw the line at foods that don’t seem to be made with care. I will willingly eat a lot of things - including scorpions! - if I know the food has been properly prepared and mindfully cooked. This is partially about my own health, partially about respect for the ingredients (something that’s important to me), and partially about just wanting to eat food that tastes good. I don’t see the point in trying something merely for shock value. I want to enjoy what I’m eating!

What about you?

Related: 5 Exotic Foods We Want to Try (Plus 5 We Really Don't)

(Image: Flickr member _e.t licensed under Creative Commons)

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