This past Saturday
I dragged my husband we went to see Anthony Bourdain speak! He started off with talking about his hatred for Food Network, Rachel Ray, Giada DeLaurentiis’s unusually large head, and wanting to light chain restaurants on fire. But as he went on, his true passion for food began to emerge. This is why I relate to him. He understands that food is not just something you stuff into your mouth to hold you over until your stomach is growling again. It’s the common thread between every culture in the world. It breaks all language barriers. He also pointed out how personal food is. It is the direct result of a person’s history. When someone cooks you a home-made meal, they are sharing their life story. He also discussed travel. Anthony made a great point. He said so many tourists are hesitant to try “street food” in order to avoid getting sick. If you try the club sandwich or the chicken caesar salad at a chain hotel restaurant, the cooks know you are traveling, the food is probably a few days old, and they know they will probably never see you again. The guy down the street with the line of locals standing at his food cart is a much better bet. Those people live in that village. They see the guy day in and day out. He’s clearly not poisoning people (plus they probably know where he lives!). He said something that struck a chord with me. He said something that I realized only within the past 7 or 8 years. He said “Try everything”. Try all the food you come across, you never know until you try. That’s how you will taste the best food in your life. That’s how you have those memorable nights! The time the car broke down and you stumbled into a random bar and had the best night of your life. The unplanned and the unknown are where life’s greatest surprises are. At this point of the show, I was completely mesmerized. I’m sure some people in the audience took this part at face value, and I feel sorry for them. It was so much deeper than “You’ll come across some good grub if you don’t always order the usual”. It was my travel philosophy. If you are in Jamaica, don’t order the burger. Order the jerk chicken and try the callaloo (callaloo is AWESOME!!! I tried it on our honeymoon along with ginep a local fruit). If you’re in Mexico, order the margarita not a Chardonnay. Immerse yourself in the culture. Fill your body with the tastes of your surroundings. It’s my philosophy of life. Try everything. Be curious. I’m not saying I would uproot myself from my job, my family, leave everything to move to Morocco for a year (although that does sound pretty admirable). If opportunities to try something new present themselves (free concert tickets to a band you’ve never heard of or an entrée you’ve never tried on a menu), give it a shot.
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