I don’t know whether to attribute it to growing up in a Kosher household, which limited outside dining options, or to the fact that Jews stereotypically can’t handle heat, but I have a very limited palate when it comes to ethnic food. And spice. And the variety of the ethnic dishes I do eat.
Let me explain: When it comes to sushi, I grew up eating tuna rolls – tuna, rice, seaweed—cucumber rolls – cucumber, rice, seaweed – and avocado rolls – avocado, rice, seaweed. Mexican in the Goldman household consisted of a delicious casserole made from rice, beans, cheese, tuna, peppers, and mild salsa. No heat, no zingers.
I tried Thai food for the first time during my sophomore year at BU. My friends and I went to a restaurant called Noodle Street, which I still HIGHLY recommend, and a kind waitress advised that if I was new to Thai, I should try the “See ew” dish, because it was not all that different from the Chinese food that I did know. I tried it; I loved it. I tried my friend’s Pad Thai dish as well. It has been two years, and those are STILL the only Thai dishes I will order and eat.
I’ve never tried Indian. For context, I spent 4 months in London – which is arguably, the second-best place in the world to try Indian food – and I am still a wimp about it.
But why not? I mean, I live in Boston – a far cry from the ethnic food mecca that is New York City, but we hold our own. I have all sorts of ethnic delights around me, and yet I do not actively try them.
I will be the first to admit it. I am a wimp when it comes to trying ethnic food. I am scared of spice levels, I am scared of not knowing what to order, I am scared of not liking what I ordered. Am I the only one with these irrational fears?
I ask you for help fellow foodies: What dishes should I be trying? And am I alone in my fear of curry?