When it comes to trying new foods, your girl has come a looooonggggg way. My close friends and family can tell you 2 things with certainty about me and food:
- I’m a picky eater.
- I eat almost everything with ketchup.
Both these things have such a negative connotation in the food eating world. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been triggered by tweets saying “If you’re a picky eater, you’re childish” “If you put ketchup on stuff, you don’t know food.” Can I just eat in peace?!
I have multitude of reasons for being the picky eater that I am and it may take too long to list here. However, one thing I can share that in the past has made me hesitant of ordering something new is wasting money. If I don’t like it, I can’t eat it. Food is expensive! I’m not going to spend $10 or more on a dish to have it go to the trash because I don’t like it. I rather eat a reliable favorite than waste my money and food.
However, as I’ve gotten older, live on my own, and also cook way more than ever before, I’ve become more open to trying new foods. My palette has definitely increased in knowledge of different foods that I like and I’m able to balance out ordering something new with some old reliables to make it work. As my dear friend Samantha said, “I’m a try – sexual: I’ll try anything once.“
Which brings me to this new restaurant I tried in Philly, Kai! As much as I love and appreciate Japanese culture (you know my anime loving self,) trying Japanese food has always been challenging for me. First of all, most Americans equate Japanese food with JUST sushi, and I don’t like sushi. Or at least I thought I didn’t, until I learned that not all sushi is raw fish. In addition to this, a lot of Japanese food is very veggie heavy and while I like veggies, I prefer most of them raw. I’ve been exposed to way more Japanese food this year so when Oscar and I were trying to figure out lunch, I immediately thought of Japanese food.
The one thing I appreciated about Kai is that their menu had a picture of the dish for almost every single item! When you’re a picky eater you learn the hard way that not all dish descriptions are made equal. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ordered something that didn’t list onions, only to have it arrive with 1000 onions on every single square inch of the plate.Don’t get me wrong, I’m not above removing what I don’t like and trying to eat it, but it still is very annoying.
Oscar ordered a crab type sushi and I ordered a Gyu Don bowl which is a “Japanese dish consisting of a bowl of rice topped with beef and onion simmered in a mildly sweet sauce flavored with dashi, soy sauce and mirin.” (I asked for no onions.) We also got sweet chili wings as a starter, and my order can with miso soup and a ginger salad. I know to most, my order was super basic but to me, it was a huge step in the right direction.
On our way back to the car, we stumbled upon an ice-cream shop, Scoop DeVille, and decided we had some room for dessert. I was back to my plain self and got a Dough Boi milkshake while bae got Devil’s Track ice cream, which tasted like the gum, “Big Red.” All in all, it was a great sweet snack to end our trip!
For my fellow picky eaters, here are some tips that have helped me transition into eating different things:
- Eat with friends who like different foods and are willing to let you sample their food
- Don’t be afraid to asks questions! The servers should know the food well enough to answer what is in the dish. Some smaller places they may even be informed on why that ingredient makes the dish better
- Start cooking! I hate onions but learning to cook, I realized how valuable of an ingredient it is and how necessary the flavor is. Sometimes you can cook with it, and remove it later when it is time to eat
- Don’t let others bully you into eating what you don’t like. I don’t think being picky is childish, I think it means I’m fully aware of what I like and don’t like. People shaming me into trying something is the quickest way to get me to never eat it. Go at your own pace!