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Feb 29, 2012 01:52 PM

Anyone convert a non-foodie?

I am happy to have helped convert my DH into almost as big a foodie as me. While he still loves fast food more than I, he will spend as much time menu planning and restaurant hunting as I will for trips and special occasions. Before we met, he had never really eaten anything but burgers and Taco Bell, now he LOVES duck, creme brulee, Bok Choy (unless I cook it!), even curries! I am so glad because I don't think I could have lived without those things.

So my question is, have any of you converted a non foodie friend or family member into someone who really embraces good eating? Better yet, do you have a dish you cooked or took them out to eat that did the trick and changed their life? I would love to know.

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  1. One of my in-laws wasn't much of a Chinese or Asian food fan. We went to a Hong Kong-style restaurant, and he ordered BBQ pork fried rice because that's what he always ordered. I put down my menu and told him straight out that while I wasn't going to let him order BBQ pork fried rice. I ordered Singapore-style stir fried noodles for him, and he has since become quite adventurous with his choices in restaurants, including Asian ones.

    1. One of my friends was a huge fan of AYCE Asian Buffets (Todai if you have been to one) with bad sushi. We had several vendors who would offer to take us out to lunch and he always picked one of these places because the sushi was AYCE. I always wanted to go to my neighborhood sushi bar, which was very good and where I was known. I finally pointed out to him that when the vendor takes us out to lunch, whether it is $20 at Todai or $40 at the sushi bar for lunch, it is still all you can eat. He saw the light and has steered clear of the buffet ever since.

      He has also come back to me for various recommendations for places like the office Xmas party (we no longer work together) or for a nice but not too pricey place for date night with his wife. I am glad to report I have opened his eyes to some of the better value high end places in out area.

      1. Around two years ago I converted my cousin, who is in his 40's to ethnic foods. He grew up in Iowa, lived in Alabama, and now Denver. He never really ate anything except typical Mid America foods, fast food, and a little Americanized ethnic, and drank beer. In a long week in NYC I took him to a dozen different types of Asian and Latin foods, and he loved them. Also took him to several cocktail bars and he loves them now as well. Now he seeks out whatever ethnic food is available in and around Denver.

        Sadly, for years I have been trying to get my nieces and nephew to try any type of ethnic or fine food, but they won't try anything new. They eat a combination of Americanized Italian, and simple foods. Preferably processed crap like kraft mac n cheese, tater tots, etc.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JMF

          Really, most Latin American foods fall into the same cooking style and food groups --this is broadly speaking of course--as "mid-american" foods: corn-based products, meats, potatoes, mayonnaise, cooked vegetables--overall rather similar. So, it isn't much of a jump.

        2. My husband… when I met him he wouldn’t eat lots of different things, and thought that Olive Garden was where you went for “Italian” food, and he’d cook a pot of “spaghetti” and throw a jar of Ragu on top and call it dinner (bleh)

          I “introduced” him to foods from different ethnicities, raw fish, oysters, foie gras.

          He will now go out with people from work for Indian or Vietnamese for lunch and actually ENJOY it…

          Bamagirl30, I’m with you, because I just love so many different kinds of food, that it would have been really difficult for me to have settled into a relationship if he had kept his narrow mind when it came to eating

          1. I would say I converted my husband... in that, he loves my cooking, which includes just about every ethnicity out there. He loves lots of 'weird fruits and vegetables'. He knows cooking terms that most good ole country boys do not. He just wowed a brazilian coworker with his knowledge of ceviche. ;)

            However, he doesn't read about cooking or seek out ingredients himself. He does garden some. If I was no longer around I really do not know what he would do. I doubt he could go back to the crap food we grew up with.... and I know my kids couldn't.