“Keep trying new foods until you’ve tried them all”

December 3, 2010

Today’s video isn’t a response to a reader question, but it is a response to a reader comment, and hey, haven’t the comments this week been amazing?  In response to the vegan product selection in smaller towns video, Jinkies! (you have to pronounce the exclamation mark like I do in the video) said “My advice for anyone in a similar situation is to learn to cook if you can’t already, and keep trying new foods until you’ve tried them all.

That’s a JFK moon landing speech right there, that is.  Feel inspired yet?

My challenge to you is this: post a comment listing 1, 2, or 3 foods you’ve never tried, then see how long it takes you to post another comment saying you’ve tried them.  Be sure to check out the website I mentioned in the video for recipes!

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Jinkies! December 4, 2010 at 1:35 am

This is actually a goal I’ve had for the last year or so. My diet before then consisted mainly of beans and rice. There’s way too much good food out there to keep eating the same thing over and over again.

Here’s three new foods I’ll try soon:

Asparagus: I stayed away when I was young because I heard it makes your pee smell funny. Now that just sounds like a fun bonus.

Red Cabbage: It’s red! Cabbage should be green!

Olives (any kind): I use tons of olive oil, but whole olives seem really gross for some reason.

Also, I thought you were hilarious in this one Jason. Thanks for taking the time to make these videos every day!

Jason December 4, 2010 at 8:49 am

Thanks Jinkies! Pro tip: you can eat asparagus raw or cooked. It never occurred to me to have it raw until someone (possibly Colleen) told me about it.

Suzy December 4, 2010 at 9:40 am

I love asparagus roasted – just toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and do in a hot oven for a few minutes till al dente. Much nicer than steamed to my mind. I eat this often and I haven’t noticed even the slightest pee odour!

Amanda December 4, 2010 at 10:49 am

I have never eaten plantains before. I have a recipe saved for plantain pancakes, but never got around to making it. Perhaps a project for this weekend!
Some things I never tried before this year: Kale, Leeks (loove them), polenta, pomegranites, and brussels sprouts (icky).
I even had something I hated as a child, and found out I now love: stuffed bell peppers. The secret is, just stuff them with stuff you know you like such as rice and beans, or bread crumbles and olive oil. Now go nom on something new already!

Lauren December 4, 2010 at 12:55 pm

tofu noodles (something like that. I see them next to the fake cheeses)

yellow fruit with red spikes that has been around the last couple of weeks at the store.

celery root. – I love celery, but I haven’t taken the time to look up recipes for the root. it seems like it would be difficult for me. But now I have sharp knives, so cutting hard veggies is easier.

aunoffon December 5, 2010 at 2:06 am

how am i doing today? great! thanks for asking!

btw, if you want to try new vegetables, you could always go down to your local chinese grocery store and see what they got in their produce section. every time i go to one i see unusual vegetables i’ve never tried or heard of…sometimes labeled with signs that are only in chinese, so I don’t even know what they’re called. one time i picked up something that looked exactly like a green melon with white flesh, but which wasn’t sweet at all, and actually was much more like a vegetable. hmmm….*scratches head*…now what was the name of that strange melon….?

Jason December 5, 2010 at 9:47 am

Suzy – roasted asparagus is even better on the barbecue! It’s pretty much what those grilling baskets were made for, as far as I can tell.

Amanda – plantains are something I’ve bought but never used (turns out they go bad pretty much like bananas!) but I’ve had plantain chips before, at least. There’s got to be some food out there that has never been put in a deep fryer, but I’ve no idea what it might be.

Lauren – we were talking about tofu noodles about an hour before you made that comment. Weird! Noodles are probably my #1 favourite food, but I haven’t tried those yet either.

Aunoffon – I haven’t been brave enough to try the melons (I had a bizarre experience with bitter melon in a restaurant once,) but I love chinese broccoli. I’m amazed at how much crossover there’s been around here over the years between the mainstream grocery chains and the Asian markets. Like I said, awesome times we’re living in!

Lauren December 5, 2010 at 8:08 pm

I tried the Kiwano (horned melon)

it was not thrilling.

1 down 2 to go

Colleen December 6, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Yes, raw asparagus is delicious! But it has to be the very skinny stalks, otherwise it’ll be too tough.

Foods I haven’t tried yet: sunchokes aka Jerusalem Artichokes, yuca, kohlrabi. I’ve seen the first here for sure but if I’ve seen the other two it hasn’t registered. Will keep an eye open!

Amanda December 6, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Lauren, if you’re talking about tofu shirataki noodles (they come in a bag of water) just be sure to rinse them, pat dry, microwave for a minute, and pat dry again before you use them!! They’re awesome, but if you don’t prep them properly they smell and taste like feet!!

Jason December 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Yikes, QUICK UPDATE: keep trying new foods until you’ve tried them all EXCEPT FOR THE ONES THAT TASTE LIKE FEET!

(Though there’s probably a market for gluten-based foot substitute somewhere. Vegan food product marketers need to get a lot more creative.)

Matt December 6, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Bitter Mellon, aka kerala…
I work in a predominatley South Asian area and am an avid gardener. We stopped the truck to do whatever and I saw a plant I had never seen before, looked like a vine, but a little different (no little shop of horrors comment required). I could not get a definitive english name, but grew it with the intent (obviously/hopefully) of eating it. It ended up exploding an orange pulp with red seeds, from a bumpy green rind. I did not eat it. I have since seen it in a local (ie far from where I work) grocery and I WILL EAT IT if only to keep the store stocking different produce!

Lauren December 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Tried the shirataki.

did not taste like feet. I was disappointed calorie-wise. it seems that the brand I had was even marketed as diet food (“hungry girl approved”). One bag had 8 ounces of noodles. the entire bag was 40 cal. (which they suggested was two servings). I thought they would be higher protein, but they seemed to be lower everything else.

go figure. So definitely for a snack and not a meal.

Amanda December 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Aw, sorry you were disappointed by the feet noodles (but glad you didn’t experience “le foot”).
They do also make plain shirataki noodles, which have zero calories, and zero everything else. The tofu shirataki is far more versitile, the plain shirataki (which can be found at asian markets or central market if you have one in your area) is more appropriate if you’re making soup or pad thai. Know yer knewdle….

Matt December 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Finally tried bitter melon, properly raised. Did not enjoy. At all. Cooked in kotthu paratha (South Asian), heavily spiced, it overwhelmed EVERYTHING. Maybe something I just don’t know how to cook. Maybe something I am incapable of loving (like Country music). True to its name–(not) surprisingly bitter.

Jason December 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Haha, bitter melon is many things, but it is definitely not subtle!

Jinkies! December 17, 2010 at 12:02 am

I tried the three things on my list about a while back. I put off posting this until I gave black olives another shot, but I just can’t force myself to do it.

Red cabbage: This was really good. It didn’t taste any different from regular cabbage to me, though. I actually saved the water from boiling it and made some awesome purple rice. I’d give red cabbage two thumbs up just for that.

Asparagus: I ate this raw, roasted, baked in casseroles, and fried. It’s been awesome every time. Thanks Jason and Suzy for the suggestions!

Olives: I tried the black ones. I ate one raw and had to spit it out. I sliced up a few for a stir fry and that pickled taste made everything kind of gross. I’ll just chalk this one up as a loss. Still plenty of good food out there!

Jason December 17, 2010 at 12:37 am

If you want to get used to black olives a little more gradually, try buying some tapenade. There’s also a hummous around here that has olives in it that’s really good even for olive haters, but that’s a regional thing.

Colleen January 20, 2011 at 8:47 am

I had some sunchokes in a roasted root veggie stew – delicious! I’ll definitely eat these again. One new food down, two to go.

Amanda January 23, 2011 at 10:46 am

Sunchokes…..never heard of them. Are they some sort of artichoke?

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