Published March 13, 2012
When is the last time this phrase came out of your mouth: “Last time I ordered that, it was good, so I guess I will just get it again…”?
Great job. You just ruined any chance of your taste buds getting surprised about the next food item you’ll be putting in your mouth.
I admit that before my love for cooking took over my life, I was that person. It was like my out-to-eat adventures were becoming stale routines of sticking with old reliables when I should have been discovering new and exciting flavor combinations and stepping out of my comfort zone.
I came to the conclusion that I no longer wanted to be my former boring self. It took me a while to break the cycle, so I want to help you break out of your own food habits by offering some tips on how to go on a food adventure in the Valley.
First things first. The next time you go out, pick a place where you know the food is good and the selection is diverse. That might sound like an oxymoron to having a “food adventure,” but everyone’s taste buds are different, so going to a place where you have established a relationship with the menu and chef will only increase your chances of having a good experience with new food.
Fact: Your taste buds do NOT change every 7 years; they simply get older, just like the rest of your body does. If you are shocked to find yourself cranking up the heat or flavor factor lately, chances are your tongue is longing for a little Spice of Life party of its own because it has no sensors to identify simple tastes anymore. In my book, this is awesome. Go for it and ask the chef to add a little kick to anything. A few fresh spices and herbs can transform any dish from average to amazing.
Next, you need to locate your adventure on the menu. The best time to have an affair with food is when you’re NOT in the mood for it. Move away from the chicken or steak and have the salmon for once. Not because it’s healthy, but because fresh salmon swam its way in front of you and is baiting you to bite. Is salmon as adventurous as the underrated liver and onions? No, but baby steps, my fellow foodies.
Start small and eat your way up to the beef tartare and octopus. Look for words like fire roasted, slow simmered, smoked, char-dusted, and bone-in. Avoid words like smothered, refried and healthy-take.
One last thing before I go: If you are going to eat beef, pork or fish, eating it at any other temperature other than “well done” is amazing. Trust me. When you cook the blood and juice out of a cut of meat, you are killing the flavor one degree at a time. Take it from me and start ordering that ‘how would you like that cooked?’ at a different temperature, and you’ll be well on your way to one of many new food adventures all your own. Happy eating!
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