I have written in the past about being a foodie and the attention, sometimes negative, that applying that label to yourself can bring.
One of the more challenging aspects is balancing your love of food with being a pretentious sounding snob. Every time you plan a meal there is a delicate balance between serving the interesting food you want to challenge yourself with, and making food that people actually want to eat.
Every food trend like foie gras, organ meats, pork belly, and sweet breads brings a challenge to the culinary dabbler, and can bring an even greater challenge to the palates of those you are trying to wow with your awesomeness.
So I’m here to give you the top 5 things you can do to prevent your foodiriffic dinner from turning into an awkward staring contest while people poke food around on their plates.
1. Make the menu clear upfront- give people a chance to decline to eat sweetbread stew.
2. Try to make the challenging ingredient a component of the overall meal rather than serving a giant slab of organ that they are already afraid of.
3. Don’t go into detail about the preparations and work you had to do to serve this dish. They don’t want to hear about pulling the taste buds off of your delicious tongue main course.
4. Do highlight the origins of this dish, people like a story and it may help shift them into an adventurous mode.
5. Don’t hover over someone, impatiently waiting for their feedback. At the least it will make them uncomfortable, at worst you may get disingenuous feedback.
Bonus item, don’t prejudge your audience. Just because someone doesn’t cook like a foodie doesn’t mean they don’t want to expand their culinary horizons. You may be the one who can open them up and allow them to expand what they want to eat.