Ben Borgers

Novel Food

June 30, 2022

I’m a person who has settled favorite foods in different cuisines. Pad Thai at Thai restaurants, Saag Paneer at Indian restaurants, and Caterpillar Maki at Japanese restaurants.

But Trisha tells me that I need to try new things. And she’s right, even if those settled favorites are very good.

So lately, I’ve been trying to optimize for novel food choices when I’m out getting food or something to drink.

When there’s a choice between something I’ve had before and something that I haven’t but might be good, I’m trying to choose the new one.

When there’s a choice between something that’s common and something that only this place has, I’m trying to choose the unique one.

It’s quite obvious, but I feel like this helps me make choices. It pushes me to try things that I might not be able to try elsewhere, even if I don’t know whether I’ll like them.

And the danger of picking something that isn’t as good as your favorite isn’t super high. Like last week, I chose some sort of peanut chocolate ice cream that wasn’t super great. Just a bit of a strange combination. Not as good as what I usually would’ve chosen (some variation of cookies and cream).

But it didn’t kill me! And now I know what that flavor tastes like. I’m not sitting here regretting that decision. (You might say that I’m dwelling on it by writing a blog post about it, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong, but I think this blog post is about something slightly different.)

So I’m trying to optimize for novel food. Within limits, of course. But at least I’ll be able to look at more things and say that I’ve tried them before.