Encouraging Your Family to Share Your Love of International Cuisine

People in the US are certainly ready to give new foods a try, with a recent survey showing that a majority (54%) are willing to buy international products for the first time when they are food shopping. Some of the items that usually pique their interest in food aisles include cheese, olive oil, coffee and tea, pasta products, sweets, and of course, wine, beer, and spirits!
Of course, any self-confessed globetrotter will tell you that there is nothing like trying red wine while contemplating the beauty of a vineyard in La Rioja; savoring a delicate macaron in famed pastry house, Ladurée in Paris; or biting into a juicy pork adobo in a street market in the Philippines. How can you convince your family to enjoy every bite while making your way around the world?
It’s All About Access
Encouraging your partner, parents, or children to try new products begins by simply having them around. The next time you host a family lunch or dinner, serve one or two international dishes in addition to traditional favorites. If you are having a roast lunch, for instance, why not serve your main meat dish alongside Filipino pinakbet (mixed vegetables cooked in fish or shrimp sauce), Lyonnaise potatoes, or a refreshing Thai cucumber salad?
You may just be surprised how instantly your family takes to the refreshing herbs, spices, and flavor combinations that characterize these and so many more dishes. Share the recipe along and suggest they join you for a dedicated food day specializing in the nation your chosen dish is from.
Whipping Up a Storm
If those you are trying to convince are your children, then get them into the kitchen asap! Nothing gets kids more excited than eating the food they cook. Start out by inviting each child to make a bucket list of foods to cook from other countries. Every week, cross out one of their items and make a real commitment to go shopping together for healthy, organic ingredients, and necessary cooking and baking tools.
To motivate kids, buy them child-safe cooking equipment such as kids’ knives, small-sized oven mitts and rolling pins, and whisks. Just a few dishes you can suggest to younger members of the family include ravioli (with homemade pasta), Thai beef salad (or a plant-based version of this dish), and cheese soufflé. Make it more about the fun than the results, celebrating successes and failures alike via fun Instagram posts.
Letting Food Be Your Travel Guide
Once kids are ready to put their newly sophisticated palates to the test, take them on a gourmet journey that involves getting to know traditional regional cuisine in the areas you are visiting. Don’t just take them to restaurants in city centers. Ask where local markets, food trucks, and street food stands are located.
Try to make friends with people in the cities, towns, and villages you will be staying at, as they will provide a treasure trove of information regarding must-try dishes and places.
One of the most exciting things about travel is the chance to try regional and local dishes. To get your family excited about new flavors and textures, ensure there are a wide array of dishes to try at home. Get kids into the kitchen so they can cook traditional dishes, and when you travel, make sure you really savor the places you will be visiting.
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