Jiu Jitsu champ, storyteller about New York City’s “good ol’ days,” and eater of really weird sh*t, Anthony Bourdain is without a rival when it comes to celebrity personalities in the food world. The man seamlessly goes from dining with Queens of the Stone Age to enjoying Vietnamese street food with our Commander and Chief. While Bourdain might not hold the top prize for eating dishes that most of the Western world would never consider, none of his contemporaries would likely revel in the experience of being confronted by Libyan militia members while on assignment in the way that Bourdain does. The guy is all about finding adventure — especially when it comes to eating.
Bourdain’s enthusiasm for exploring the unknown via his taste buds is contagious. You help can’t feeling at least a little braver about trying some little-known dish after watching one of his shows. Hopefully, these Anthony Bourdain lines will come to mind next time you’re faced with devouring something that is a total mystery to you.
“Good food and good eating are about risk.”
Food, like life, rewards the risk takers with the grandest stories. Though something may sound disgusting, take solace in knowing that others are enjoying it and jump in. Even the worst tasting food only remains a truly sour experience for a moment or two, and at least you can say that you tried something new.
“Sometimes the greatest meals on vacations are the ones you find when Plan A falls through.”
Don’t get us wrong, Yelp is a fantastic tool for finding the hidden hot spot or “must-try” restaurant of whatever city you’re visiting, but it can also be a hindrance. Scrolling through one food joint after another until you find that place with no less than four stars and the perfect positive/negative review ratio eliminates the magic of truly stumbling upon a really great find.
Next time you roll up on that “it” spot and discover it’s just not in the cards for the night, go the Bourdain route and just wing it.
“The journey is part of the experience.”
Food is about more than just taste and sustenance, it can be a communal thing that strengthens our understanding of those who walk through life with us as friends, family, and lovers. Also, please remember that, despite how much your hang-ups mean to you, nobody thinks all that highly of the person who rejects trying new things. Let the people who are important to you be your guide to culinary awakenings.
“There’s no escaping the deliciousness.”
So many people go into new things with a preconceived notion based on smell or surroundings, but we all need to accept that a transcendent experience may not seem obvious at first. You really can’t deny the signals your taste buds.
“Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”
Yes, if you treat your stomach like an amusement park ride and throw whatever comes your way at it, you’re occasionally going to feel like you just got off the worst roller coaster ever. But at least you know that warthog anus or fermented shark isn’t for you. Of course, there will also be those times when you stumble across a new food delicacy so delicious that you’ll question what took you so long to get on that flavor coaster to begin with.
“Frankly, I’d sooner grab a big handful of nut sack.”
Anthony Bourdain’s not a big fan of brains. Fair enough. Some people hate broccoli. It doesn’t mean he won’t occasionally give it another go, though. It’s good to occasionally revisit a food that you didn’t care for years ago and find out if your taste buds have changed their attitude.
Is there really a more appropriate line to toss out when you’re about to swallow a beating cobra heart? Maybe “tell my family I love them,” but where’s the swagger in that?