Doing One Thing That Scares Me: Trying New Foods (Particularly Seafood)

Prawn laksa at a Malaysian street stall

I like to think I’m a brave and adventurous person. I’ve run with the bulls in Spain, hiked the Great Wall in China despite the city having the worst pollution levels on record and survived a leech bite… okay, it was only small but it was scary! But I could never be called ‘Adventurous Nicole’ because there is one area of my life I’m scared of drastically changing – food.

This may sound a bit strange coming from the girl whose weekly diet consists of Indian curry, Thai laksa and Korean kimchi but underneath all of that I am one of the fussiest eaters I know… alright, perhaps not as fussy as Lauren; but food has always been my weakness to the point that I think my foodie friends want to ditch me when they try to visit seafood restaurants and I instead suggest something a little bit more red-meat friendly.

“An Australian who doesn’t eat seafood?!”

My Dad is allergic to crustacean (lobster, crab, abalone, etc. though not oysters which I think he’d happily eat weekly) and so growing up my life was somewhat seafood-less. Sure Nan would have her weekly piece of Friday fish but I’d be eating the chips and chicken nuggets. Even when my family insisted that my sister and I ate fish for dinner, despite it not being a crustacean, I just couldn’t bring myself to like the texture or taste, and seeing the silver bits would make me want to wretch before I’d taken a bite.

But I tried a scallop on a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong and I didn’t die – though it would have been quite the story if I had – and it wasn’t half bad; and then I went to Japan and every meal was seafood so I tried a tiny bit of crab, caviar and lobster… and surprise, surprise – I didn’t die.

I’m not going to go as far to say “2013 will be the year that Nicole will be able to eat seafood” but I will try it, just a little bit, in small doses; and the testing and tasting won’t stop at seafood.

I’m also somewhat stuck in the same routine of eating the same foods. I hate mushy foods (no bananas in my diet), I love citrus fruits but hate the time it takes to peel every single piece of stringy stuff off of them to eat; I don’t eat cauliflower, pork (if I can help it), green beans or peas. Pretty much, unless I know I’m going to like it then, generally speaking, I won’t eat it.

And this really sucks.

So, starting with China but more so Malaysia I am trying everything (except fish… I can’t do that just yet.)

Do you have any fussy eating habits?

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  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 4:50 am

    I wish you the best of luck and I hope a marvelous world of foods will open up to you!

    • Reply
      February 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Thanks, Sofie.

      It’s so simple but opens up a whole new cultural culinary adventure in my life. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 26, 2013 at 2:27 am

    You are adorable- I think it’s great that you’re being adventurous in a different way. My advice is to start simple- include seafood in a dish, like fish tacos, shrimp linguine- don’t eat it head on, because it seems like what bothers you is the texture/taste/smell- its basic IN YOUR FACE presence. Hide em’ and trick yourself into not realizing its seafood!

    • Reply
      February 26, 2013 at 4:43 am

      Love this advice! Can I trust you to show me where to find fish tacos? 🙂

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I love food. LOVE IT. like i will always be curvy no matter how much exercise I do because I love food, in fact I can safely say that the way to my heart is through my stomach.

    That said if you put onion in my food, I will pick it out, you will find a nice neat pile of onion at the side of my plate. I think it is the food of the devil (along with baked beans, which make me urge just to look at, and peas though if they’re in something i will eat them, if they’re a portion of veg on my plate, nu-uh).

  • Reply
    Schweet Life
    February 27, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Props for at least making an attempt to try new foods! Maybe you could try visiting a good buffet so you can sample a few different things without having to commit to a full meal that you might not enjoy.

    I’m pretty open to trying to new foods (within reason) but I don’t like those little green peas, mayonnaise, canned tuna, any kind of fish that tastes too fishy, those large eggplants, and a bunch of other stuff I’m probably forgetting.

  • Reply
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    February 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm

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  • Reply
    November 14, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Oh new foods are the way to go. I love to try anything different when I am way overseas. When in Ukraine I drank Kvass and ate fat!
    Beetles, bugs and other creepy crawlies are always on the menu in Asia.
    Surprisingly the most disgusting sounding things don’t taste all the bad 🙂

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