Do You Try New Foods?

Updated on September 26, 2011
S.G. asks from Fort Eustis, VA
26 answers

Say you're at a party or something, and there's an unfamiliar looking dish at the buffet table. Do you try it? Ask someone else what it is?
To put it more bluntly, are you an adventurous eater? Or would you have a tough time, say, traveling to foreign countries because the food can be very different in other parts of the world?
If you were in Hong Kong, for example, would you buy street food from a vendor or would you be thinking "Do they even HAVE food inspectors here?"
By the way, and I have no way of knowing if it was true at the time, but my mom used to say when I was a kid that there was ONE restaurant inspector for ALL OF MANHATTAN.

Yes, I have a lot of extra time on my hands today:)!

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answers from Pocatello on

Yes! I love to try new foods! If I were in china I would probably eat anything that was freshly cooked... but I would NOT drink the water or any beverages made with untreated water....

I am not a raw meat type though... I eat sushi- but no other raw meats, and I won't eat raw cookie dough if it has eggs in it. I got food poisoning once and it was TERRIBLE.

I don't know if I would chicken out at eating bugs though... I once licked a tarantula lollipop, but I don't know if I could eat crispy fried crickets. I love the show "Bizarre Foods" and I wish I was as brave as Andrew Zimmern!

Foods that gross me out? chicken livers and giblets EWWWWW... and ham steaks...


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answers from Austin on

Let's see -- I tasted tongue in Israel, squid pizza in Beijing.... some weird raw meat thing at a neighbor's party here in TX...

I don't do street vendors though.

I generally don't like to try new stuff but having lived overseas for 3 years, I had no choice! Glad I brought plenty of imodium.

The most challenging was when we took a cruise down the Yangtze and my in-laws had us book an authentic Chinese cruise. It was nice but not fancy; good service but no room service!! You had to eat by their schedule and there were some good things, some awful. The funniest was the breakfast food called "screwy buns!" lol Made a nice conversation piece, since my SIL had not been speaking to me for a whole day ...

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answers from Austin on

Yes, I try foods. Yes, from street vendors. Yes in foreign lands.

I agree I do not eat weird meats, just because I am a super taster and organ meats are very strong to me.

I was raised in a family that were amazing cooks. They grew up on farms so they ate what they raised and what they hunted.. nothing was wasted.
I learned to eat it too.

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answers from Seattle on

ROFL... oh the foods I have eaten:

- intestines on a stick
- anything that lives in the sea (... including things like octopus balls)
- dog (sniff... not on purpose, I have a rule against pets)
- deep fried grasshoppers
- deviled eggs (I have some latino friends who were TERRIFIED of deviled eggs, so I'm counting "our" weird foods)

I'll eat anything if it smells good.

And yup... I've eaten from street vendors in Hong Kong, Tokyo, NYC, London, Rome.

My rule of thumb; if I like it I do NOT ask what's in it... AND if everyone likes it, it's probably great. If it's a "delicacy" I laugh at the joke. Delicacy, as most travelers know, translates to "What can we get this crazy foreigner to eat next?!?"

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answers from Los Angeles on

I try new foods or foods in foreign lands if it looks like something I might eat here in America. If I'm in a foreign land I look to see who the street vendor's customers are. If they are normal, middle class or working class and above, I'll usually try something if its meal time or I'm curious.

I don't do sheep's brains or eyes. I don't do rooster fries or prarie oysters or escargot.

Good luck to you and yours.

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answers from Chicago on

I try new foods when they are prepared by someone I trust.

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answers from Chicago on

I am NOT adventurous when it comes to food by any means. If my man is with me he will try it all and then I will go from his suggestion. I will not go to other countries and do what you asked NO NO NO.

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answers from Gainesville on

our Mission trip to Haiti was a very adventurous trip ! They served cat and didn't tell ppl what it was. Down there you eat or they get offended.

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answers from Houston on

no, i dont eat meat, or things that might have "meat cooties" (a term coined on here the other day, forgot the author) So i dont try new dishes. I totally would at a fellow vegetarians house.........or a vegan restaurant, lol

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answers from Dallas on

Nope. I have hypersensitive taste and smell. But on the other hand it amazes me that people think I am a fanatic because I always eat at least 10 servings of fruits/veggies everyday. And they say I'm picky!


answers from Phoenix on

No, I rarely try new things. It always seems to bite me in the butt when I'm at a restaurant that I always get the same thing and decide to be adventurous and then I don't like it. And I hate to send food back so I feel like I'm stuck with it so instead of risking it I would just order my usual which I know I already like. =)

I have no desire to travel outside of the country but if I did I would rather find a McDonalds (they are everywhere, right??!!!) and would NEVER get street food from a vendor. No way...



answers from Kansas City on

Yes. Sometimes a little reluctantly, but yes.

We did go to Japan a few years ago. And with the exception of one meal at a TGIFriday's and one meal at a Hard Rock Cafe, we ate traditional Japanese foods. We didn't eat anything from street vendors, that I remember anyway, but we would just walk into any restaurant and point to something on the menu hoping we liked it! Our daughter was 11 at the time and she was happy that they at least served rice at every meal. Our son was 15 and was very adventurous!


answers from St. Louis on

I will eat just about anything. In a buffet setting I will ask what something is but not because I won't eat it, just kinda nice to know what the heck I am eating.

Most restaurants if they poison people they don't stay in business long so I don't really worry about that. Granted my son ate at a Chinese restaurant last year and got food poisoning. He said I thought maybe I should have left after discovering the dead roach on the table. See it was his own darn fault he got sick, I would have left.



answers from Chicago on

I don't try new foods from a street vendor. I don't mind trying new food a restaurant or a party or a friend's house...but def not from a street vendor. = /



answers from Washington DC on

My DH is sensitive to bad cream and got sick in Scotland on our honeymoon and he and our little girl got sick after they both had chicken satay from a restaurant in Wales. So it's not just China where you can pick up a bug.

Around home - generally I will try things, but I admit that when our friends from Taiwan ordered off the menu for dim sum, I did not partake in the fried chicken feet. I did try many other things, but couldn't do the feet.

Ate chocolate covered ants in elementary school but I can't knowingly do bugs now.

I've eaten from street vendors carts in DC and Philly, but not overseas.


answers from Norfolk on

I try new foods at buffets or other restaurants.
That's how I discovered sushi, Thai food and Vietnamese beef noodle soup.
I would not be so adventurous while traveling in a foreign country.

My Mom went to China, and fellow tourists in her group laughed at her when she would only eat things that were boiled or only drank bottled water.
They weren't laughing when they spent the next three days with a bucket while sitting on the toilet as they lost a lot of weight very quickly with barfing and diarrhea.
She was the only one who did not get sick.


answers from Iowa City on

I have a food allergy so I do ask. If it is safe for me to try, I probably will. But I have a problem with the idea of eating certain things (organs, for instance, feet, heads, things like that) so I'm not extremely adventurous.


answers from Erie on

I will not eat:
eye balls

But I'd try anything else. I can make most of the Thai and Viet vendor food, except the insects :D


answers from Dallas on

sure any vegetable dish. I will not eat bugs or meat that I don't know where it came from. Hmmm not very adventurous huh? :)



answers from Sacramento on

I've always been a picky eater, so no. I also have IBS, so I'm extremely careful about what I eat or I can be sick for a day or more.

Not even remotely adventurous. :)



answers from Charlottesville on

Because of a food allergy (anything with mold or fungi - think bleu cheese and mushrooms), I usually have to ask what is in dishes at potlucks, buffets, etc. But, once I know that there are no allergens in the dish, I am usually apt to try most new foods. As far as street food vendors, if the locals queue up, I am more likely to think the food is good and fairly safe. If the locals stay away, so do I.



answers from Washington DC on

I will not eat anything that comes from an animal. I am a vegan. So, that excludes any meat, fish, eggs or dairy. Many people think it's limiting. Yet, I eat a wider variety of fruits, veggies, grains, beans, and spices than most people. I do ask a lot of questions when traveling. Yes, I have gotten sick, when animal products are in foods and restaurants have not been honest with me about ingredients. So, prob. less adventurous than many as far as street vendors.


answers from Santa Fe on

I LOVE trying new foods! That's the best. In my experience they are 99% of the time YUMMY! :) I love foreign foods and I love traveling. It's so fun to me. My poor son is the opposite though. I wonder how he would survive if we went to another country for a year! He hates anything different.



answers from Honolulu on

Yah I try things... but will not eat internal organs or brains or insects.



answers from Richmond on

I will try new foods and have bought from street vendors in foreign countries. That said, I have not been to any 3rd world countries or even places that have odd delicacies. If I questioned the cleanliness, I would not eat it. I have a colleague who has poor hygiene and I don't eat anything, packaged or not, that she brings in. I have taken culinary school classes and food safety is top priority so it's ingrained. But if I was in a reputable, clean place I would try something odd. I tried blood pudding in Ireland and nothing can be worse than that (unless it's still alive)! LOL


answers from Dover on

I am a food adventurer. I rarely (with very few exceptions, meatloaf, chili, soups) make the same thing more than once. I do have limits: no organ meat, no babies (veal & the like), nothing with green bell peppers or brussel sprouts.

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