How to explore new cultures through food
Food is an important aspect of culture. Ingredients used in popular cuisine dishes storytell the agricultural scene of a country and highlights the region’s food traditions, values, and influences. Now is the opportune moment to embrace multiculturalism and inclusion, so here are four ways to expand your palate by exploring foods from other cultures.
Travel to Eat
The best way to learn about a culture and its customs is to be there! Catch a flight and immerse yourself in new people, food and scenery. Mingle with locals to get their insight on the best authentic go-to restaurants, or sign up for a culinary-themed tour. Make a list of recommended food spots and introduce your taste buds to bold flavors, unique spices, and intricate food preservation styles.
Get To Know a Culture Through a Friend
Food brings people together. If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly if you can’t travel, host a potluck party with friends. Encourage them to bring a dish from their cultural background. This is a fun, intimate, and interactive food learning activity that can expand your palate while attaining insightful knowledge about your social circle and their heritage. Not to mention the great conversations blossomed can lead to credible tips on traveling, planning a group trip, and increasing your cultural awareness.
Explore Your City
Tired of takeout or choosing between the same food options when you go out to eat? Become the ultimate foodie in your hometown! Research the top ethnic food trucks and restaurants in your area, make a list, and commit to trying a new place at least once a month. Document your food journey by sharing your experience through photos, blogging, leaving reviews, and recommending your favorite spots to your social media followers. Stay up-to-date on non-traditional emerging food ventures and save the date for ‘Restaurant Week’ voyages in your city.
Visit an International Market
Discover and support local grocery stores! Make it a norm to shop at Asian, Hispanic, African, and Jewish shops to find an assortment of food enhancers to tweak your everyday meals. If you’re up to it, select a recipe you want to try at home and see if there’s a culturally specific market where you live that has the best native ingredients. Make it an exciting culinary adventure as you scour for foods, vegetables, and spices. Connect with the employees to find what you’re looking for, and get their feedback on how to execute the best meals with tasty results.
Eating is more than a common necessity; home cuisines are staples to illustrate historical dietary habits, hardships, and commonalities. Celebrating and acknowledging the history of foods from all over the world uplifts rich cultures, links experiences, and provides an opportunity to embrace traditions. Life is so much bigger than what you’re accustomed to, so why not go outside your comfort zone to integrate other cultural foods into your diet? Experimenting with heritage foods and food tourism are the best ways to understand cultural identity and gain new food experiences.