Despite my last post, we’ve had rainy, rumbly days lately, sending rivulets of water down and soaking the world into a Technicolor dream. But it’s all the better to coax out summer like a butterfly from its cocoon.
One category that is on my bucket list as a wannabe-world-traveler is trying out strange and peculiar cuisines. As a mostly vegan celiac, my options for gustatory adventures are often limited. They’re limited at least on a traditional standpoint. I firmly believe that the Travel Channel should give me my own food-based show, where I gallivant and teach the world about far-flung vegetarian dishes.
Anyway. Point being – maybe there’s been some food you’ve always wanted to try or make. A flaming baked Alaska? Every Ben and Jerry’s flavor? The restaurant that’s entirely in the dark, where you’re served by blind waiters?
Dream big, my culinary compadres. Food is a shared experience for every human, and you too can be a gourmet. In Italy, there’s a saying, “Non si invecchia a tavola”, which means one doesn’t grow old at the table. I’m not encouraging gluttony, I’m just saying if you’re stumped on your list, food is a fun baby step of a category to think about. It doesn’t even have to go on your bucket list. Just trying new things is a part of life that we should never stop.
Around this time of year, I’m always excited for the local farmers’ markets to start up again. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a place that has them, definitely go! Last year I would challenge myself to try a new ingredient every week. Radishes, beets, Swiss chard, Tuscan kale, and squash all yielded under my novice hands and bite of the chef’s knife.
Ethnic supermarkets are another way to expand your palate. I love H-Mart and the other Asian markets nearby. Half the time I can’t read the label, but that’s part of the fun. Last year I embarked on making sushi for the first time and an elderly Japanese man stopped me in the aisle to point out a better type of pickled ginger.
Food – building bridges between awkward college students and wise, wizened foreigners.
So, whether you’ve hosted your own Julia Child shows to an invisible audience as you made Lunchable pizzas or you’ve been more likely to use your oven as extra storage, try something new. Don’t even cook it if it’s not your forte. I even managed to cajole my brother into trying sashimi at a gluten free restaurant last week.
Unfortunately, he still hated it. But, he tried!
And this is all about trying and doing and living. Have a lovely weekend, darlings, and stay dry.