In my inaugural post, I failed to mention one of my biggest foodie heros. This person instilled in me the desire to try new things. He is forever amenable to the thrill of something different, strange, or unexpected. As food is an integral part of culture, the thrill of culinary experimentation has taught me to be open, receptive, and embracing of new people and new customs. This source of inspiration is my father.
From early on, I have sought the rush of trying something new. If you want to discover a penchant for something novel you must venture out of your comfort zone – the metaphor holds true for both life and food. My dad was the catalyst who sparked my love affair with sushi. He took me to my first Japanese restaurant when I was 8; I was a tagalong on a business dinner with him. It was made clear that I was to at least try what was ordered and not complain if I did not like it, lest I make a scene with his business partners! Despite all my apprehensions, I became enamoured with sushi.
Trying new foods is a bit like rolling the dice. There is an aspect of foodie adrenaline involved. The dish in question could be the most delectable, profound, mouthwatering experience. Or it could be repulsive. Because of that fateful encounter with sushi, I have tasted sea urchin, fish heads, chicken hearts, seaweed, a variety of game, octopus, quail’s eggs, duck tongue… The more obscure the food, the more exciting!
So instead of thinking why would I try that, think why wouldn’t I? How many chances will you have to order the same old chicken breast? How many chances will you have to order chicken feet?
My father, through his culinary avidity, has imparted lessons that hold true in other aspects of life. Leave life with no regrets, embrace these experiences while you can, and to embrace the unusual.
To the man who is always willing to try something (especially if could have supernatural health powers), no matter the taste: thank you, I love you, and happy birthday!