Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cultural Food Neophobia

What is the most outrageous thing you have ever eaten? In High School, I had a friend who was from Ghana, Africa, and she once made me try African soda. African soda consists mostly of molasses and was thick and overly sweet. I thought it was so disgusting, that I could only tolerate one sip!

Culture has a huge influence on what food choices one makes. Generally, one will stick to those foods for life. Many people are reluctant to try foods indigenous to other cultures because they fear how the food will make them feel as well as what other cultures are actually eating. In Cambodia, a popular snack is fried Tarantulas. According to the text book, children reported fearing spiders the most, but in Cambodia, children love to eat them and consider them a delicacy.

On the show "Bizarre Foods" on Travel Channel, the host Andrew Zimmern, does not exhibit a fear of trying different cultural foods. This man will eat anything that would make many average Americans repulsed at. My boyfriend is a fan of this show, but honestly, I cannot watch it because it literally makes my stomach turn! According to Pliner and Hobden, the host of "Bizarre Foods" would of scored in the lower 15% of their food Neophobic Scale. In turn, he would be considered a Neophilic, or a person more willing to try different foods.

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