Social Question

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

How do you get stubborn friends to try new foods?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11439points) March 19th, 2010

I have a friend who is so anti-new food that he ends up ordering from the kids menu sometimes because most of the food on the menu he doesn’t like.
I don’t want to exclude the guy from when groups of us go out but if it’s sushi, Indian, middle eastern, French, or anything even a little exotic, he just can’t deal with it.
Too bad because he’s really missing out.

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34 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

There is no disputing taste. I don’t see what you can do. It’s like trying to make a kid try something they don’t want to try. He knows where you’re going. He can choose to absent himself if he wants. You can’t do anything other than to encourage him to try something new.

Likeradar's avatar

You could help guide him through the menu. The idea of something like sushi can be scary, but when you learn what’s really in shrimp tempura, it’s mostly just regular ol every day food put together in a roll.

That being said, I don’t think there’s much. You’re not excluding him from groups. He’s making the choice to be excluded.

ModernEpicurian's avatar

Two Words.

Man Up.

Idknown's avatar

This is funny. The best you can do is let him know that this stuff is good. If he doesn’t try it, he’ll just miss out. Its one thing to have tried and dislike. It’s another to stay ignorant. Use social pressures to see if he’ll give in. Something along the lines of – for education and cultural distinction – you must try this Samosa!

laureth's avatar

Is he willing to try one new ingredient at a time? It’s hard to go from the kids’ menu directly to quiche Lorraine, but perhaps a cheeseburger with swiss cheese instead of American is a good first step.

IBERnineD's avatar

If it’s just an ingredient like mushrooms for instance I would put them in something and not tell them. My friend refused to try spinach until my mom made spinach and cheese raviolis. She didn’t tell him spinach was in them and he ate all his pasta with seconds. When he found out afterwards, he was pleasantly surprised!

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I like the ModernEpicurian answer but manning up, isn’t in this guy’s vocab.
Apparently peer pressure isn’t enough to keep this guy from ordering a corn dog when the rest of us are trying out a sausage tray at the German ale haus.

tinyfaery's avatar

Why does this guy have to eat what you do?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Because not every place has happy meals.

mammal's avatar

get him drunk and hungry

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Didn’t work.

IBERnineD's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy I don’t think you should do a thing really. I’m sure if he notices that he could be missing out on things that go with new foods. For instance quality time with the buddies, he may have some incentive to change his mind about new food. If not, you said it yourself, “Too bad because he’s really missing out.” And leave at that.

Chongalicious's avatar

Trick him! Even though he may get mad at first…
For example. My boyfriend’s stepdad told me that the meat in a lasagna was beef. So I ate it. I said it was good, but why was the meat so stringy?? he said “You just ate wild goose”. I was pissed! But I have to admit…that stuff was good :)

tinyfaery's avatar

Let him eat what he wants or he doesn’t have to eat at all. Geesh.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Kick him in the doo-dads! ;)

Val123's avatar

Tell him where you’re going, let him decide if he wants to go or not.

Vunessuh's avatar

This is great advice from everyone because I’m having a really hard time getting my duck to eat a donut.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

I say do a trade off you try something new and they try something new. For example my fiance doesn’t care for vegetables, I would do a trade off with him. I would eat a cupcake and he would eat a serving of vegetables.

lilikoi's avatar

Why bother? More for you! He’s a big boy. If he is that picky, let him bring his own food and take care of himself.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Aside from a nibblet of food on a fork fed to him by a cooing guy/girl he’s smitten with and wants to impress, I doubt he’ll succumb. If your group of friends is up for it though, you all could break out a few singles each, lay them on the table and challenge him to try bites of new stuff, turn it into some sort of drinking game.

njnyjobs's avatar

Some people have natural aversions to food that can cause allergic, sometimes fatal, reactions. If this is the case, it’s best not to insist on him to try out exotic food which he is unfamiliar to.

Vunessuh's avatar

Update: My duck ate the donut. Thank you all so much!

Val123's avatar

@Vunessuh Did you sprinkle bugs on it?

Vunessuh's avatar

@Val123 No, but I put a gun to his head while he ate it.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

That’s his decision. He doesn’t have to. If you are pressuring him, stop.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s very dangerous to trick a person into eating a food he doesn’t want. It could cause an allergic reaction. I read about a woman who nearly killed a friend of hers by sneaking peanuts into her food to “prove to her it was all in her head”.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

My first inclination is to tell you to mind your own plate. If he eats a crappy corn dog while everyone else is eating bratwurst, that’s his problem. However, I have encountered younger people that won’t eat my cooking, and I understand how annoying and ridiculous it is.

You could sort of not include him in invitations, as in “We’re all going out for sushi, but since you don’t eat that, why don’t we call you when we figure out if we’re going out afterwards?”

Or you might try asking him in a non-food situation, “Why do you still have the eating habits of a middle-schooler? Women notice these things.”

Sometimes people do have food allergies, so never sneak foods in on people because you want to try them unless you know for certain they don’t have allergies. Eating certain things like nuts or shellfish when a person is allergic to them, can kill them.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

FFS people, he’s not allergic to these things.
Give a guy some credit.

serena933's avatar

You could bet him $5 he can’t eat a whole…whatever it is:)

thriftymaid's avatar

Nah, they can eat what they want to.

prolificus's avatar

“Man up”—what does this have to do with a person’s tastes?! I think this expression is beyond dumb, but that’s another discussion.

I appreciate a good kids’ menu, as I can be a very picky eater! Something that really helped me to open up my tastebuds was the opportunity to eat fresh, homecooked meals with a family who ate off the typical fast-food, meat and potatoes grid. It helped me to see some things go from start to finish, to taste in stages, to be a part of the process, to enjoy the friendship of food with friends. (Said friend is also a really good cook, so this helped all the more!)

Maybe you could invite your friend over to your house and cook together something he normally would not eat. Just a thought.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Maybe you need to invite him over Sunday night for dinner and to watch this and then this.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Do you share things at the table? “Here, try a bite of this and see what you think.” That’s how I got into sushi and sashimi; no way was I going to order raw fish! But when I saw others eating it with apparent relish (yes, I know they do this in other parts of the world, but my thinking used to be ‘they aren’t like us’)—and someone offered me a bite, I tried it and liked it.

There are still some things that I have tried and do not like, and I won’t order them, but I’m usually open to trying ‘a bite’ of something, anyway. In one way I’m like your friend: I don’t want to risk an entire meal on whether or not I ‘might’ like one of the main ingredients.

YARNLADY's avatar

I was persuaded to try some Calamari once, and it wasn’t too bad. I don’t like seafood in general, but with the right sauces it is edible. I would never try the octopus at the Chinese Buffet near us, because they are tiny and look like spiders ewwwwwww.

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