Trying out different cuisines

Although I am not a big fan of food, I do like trying out a lot of different cuisines occasionally. Being in the US, gave me the opportunity to try a lot of cuisines – Ethiopian, German, Mexican, French, Italian, Persian, Egyptian/Mediterranean, Indian, Sri Lankan, Peruvian, Cuban, Hungarian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Malaysian, Argentinean, Southern to name a few. Although French food is my favorite, I love other cuisines too.

Among the list above, Italian and French food are probably the ones that are most easily available. For the rest of cuisines you might have to Google and find out the nearest location. If you are fortunate then you might be able to find some in your city.

Fortunately I live near Los Angles which is quite multi cultural. There are lot of these small towns like Chinatown, Pilipino Town, Indian Village etc where you get good ethnic food. The key to eating good food is to buy it in a place where there are multiple restaurants of the same cuisine. For example there is this place called Little Ethiopia in Fairfax Ave, LA where you can find multiple Ethiopian restaurants. Then based on the reviews you can pick and choose the one you want to go. The reason is quite straightforward, when there is competition, service would be better, otherwise you will be forced to settle with whatever choice you have if there are not many restaurants.

Another advantage of trying different cuisines is that it makes you learn about their culture. There is no better way to learn about a country and their culture while eating their food. For example most Indian restaurants display bollywood videos which shows about their multi cultural diversity, Ethiopian restaurant will serve food in one plate for all the people in the table which kind of teaches us the virtue of sharing food, most Asian places will have chopsticks etc, although you can ask for fork or spoon and they will happily give it to you.

Another tip for eating in a new place is to ask for the chef’s recommendation, when in doubt and if you are sensitive to spicy food then be sure to always ask them to make it non-spicy. Ethnic food can often be spicy.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when going to a new place is ordering the wrong food. Some people tend to order the food that is familiar to them rather than ordering the food that the restaurant is known to serve best. For example going to an Italian restaurant and ordering hamburgers instead of Italian pasta or lasagna. Although some of these restaurants will have some American food for the convenience of its guest but you won’t get the best hamburger there. It really doesn’t make sense.

Going with an open mind to try the best of every place and eating it the way the locals in that country would eat will make your experience of trying out a new cuisines bigger and better. I sometimes envy people whose job is to travel around the world and try different food. I wish I could do that job. Until then, I guess I will have to settle with trying different places.




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