When evaluating your food choices, do you stick to a standard menu of options or do you try new foods? Many of us fall into the first category, especially as we enter our adult years. We get used to eating a certain way, and it’s hard to try new flavors and cultural aromas that are unfamiliar to our palettes.
Keeping an open mind about the foods you eat allows you to experience other cultures. Having this variety in your family’s diet can also help with introducing new flavors and foods to your children. And, the earlier they are exposed to these different flavors, the more likely they are to incorporate them in their meals as they grow up.
Consider some of the cultural dishes out there. Italian cuisine incorporates a variety of healthy spices such as basil, parsley and garlic. It also uses high-quality ingredients such as fresh tomatoes and herbs. Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of European, Indian and Chinese cooking, while Mexican dishes incorporate rice blends, fresh vegetables and beans. Asian cuisine is another excellent choice thanks to its rich blend of fresh vegetables, noodles and rice.
When you eat foods from other cultures, you open up your palette and can easily find dishes that meet your nutritional needs. For example, many parents look for ways to get their children to eat more vegetables in their diet. Learning how to season them with spices and marinades can make a non-vegetable eater a vegetable-lover.
Eating foods from other cultures also allows you to explore your own taste buds. You might find that how one culture cooks their meats is more favored than another. Exploring new flavors can quickly turn into a hobby as you discover new tastes that are both healthful and flavorful. It’s also an opportunity to gather at the table with your family and discuss different cultures and how families in other countries live and eat.
What are your favorite tips on introducing cultural foods to your family?
This post was originally published on the World Gardens Café blog. Led by Executive Chef Ravi Harryram, World Gardens Café offers individualized meals and customized menus that demonstrate an appreciation of food and an understanding of nutrition. Chef Ravi’s Caribbean-influenced cooking methods involve the slow infusion of deep flavors instilled by using wet marinades instead of dry rubs. With many years of success in developing customized diets, Chef Ravi continually creates menus that improve people’s quality of life.