November 21, 2011 10:32 AM Subscribe
Best "gateway" foods for uninspired palates?
posted by Diagonalize to Food & Drink (28 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I occasionally find myself in the dining company of people who are unadventurous, for lack of a better term. While they have some general food preferences, they're not actually that picky or culturally biased, just uninspired and unlikely to try new things on their own impetus. As a food-enthusiast, I get a little sad when I hear that Panera is their one regular food adventure, but I know that they're not true "beigeatarians", and they've enjoyed new foods when the occasions presented themselves.
I grew up with a lot of heavy ethnic influences in my childhood foods, so my palate is pretty much all over the place, and I'm never totally sure what is or isn't approachable to the average American. In the past, I haven't felt confident enough suggesting anything beyond a safe pasta or grilled fish dish, so I'm hoping to arm myself with a solid list of more unusual entry-level dishes I could use to enliven their taste buds, either at home or at a restaurant. What meals have shaken you out of a food rut and opened your eyes to a new world of culinary possibility? In other words, interesting, but not too-challenging dishes for willing newbies?
Vegetarian and omnivorous ideas welcome. Healthier options not strictly necessary, but would be especially appreciated.