Food exploration is often delegated to the inexperienced and not taken seriously as a hobby. As someone who has spent countless hours at the mercy of too much curiosity and too little information, I want to offer my advice on how to get started on exploring delicious new dishes.
At its heart, food exploration is simply enjoying foreign cuisines with all five senses. The best way for beginners to explore cuisine is by analyzing a dish’s different components: taste, texture, color, smell, and sound. Below are some of the top tips on how to explore food according to Laasya Sudhakar (a Foodie & Explorer by heart.) they include;
Most of the time, flavors are the initial aspect of food that attracts people. Foreigners will often feel most inclined to try a different cuisine through taste. In this sense, Laasya recommends two methods for exploring your food. The first involves understanding how different spices affect your senses through taste and smell, as mentioned above. The second involves immersing yourself in the preparation of a dish and leading your food through all five colors – red, orange, yellow, green, and blue (achieved through tasting it). This last method is the five senses of taste.
Similar to taste, the sense of smell is described as the most compelling element of a dish. Laasya explains how Europeans enjoy their meals by sniffing and smelling flavors during dinner. Foodies can also explore their food through cooking and sampling different smells while they cook it. Different aromas can bring other emotions to mind – try playing with the emotional triggers of different smells!
This one is not surprising, but it’s often underestimated by people new to their country’s cuisine. Thus, the dish’s appearance when served can help in aesthetic pleasure and taste.
For example, say you got an invitation to a meal at a fancy restaurant and the food looked beautiful. You could explore the dish’s appearance by noticing its texture, look, and texture; the subtle flavors can evoke a sense of visual beauty in different ways.
The texture is another factor to consider when exploring food. Whether it’s smooth, chewy, lumpy, or slimy, the texture is crucial in enjoying food. Think about how different textures affect you and how they feel when you consume them! That will make for an exciting experience for sure.
One of the most underrated aspects of food exploration is ingredients. While there is no way to explain why certain ingredients are tasty, it’s worth knowing what they are. Some dishes are known for using a specific ingredient; that method of identifying its origins can lead to great discovery!
As we saw with Laasya’s top five tips for food exploration, there are many ways to explore your culinary heritage. The more information you have, the better; however, if you’re interested in the above methods, it might be worth looking at which cuisines are known for each of the above techniques.