Saying that you do not like the food you were served because it is not what you expected, could make you look bad, create bad taste among those who share the table with you and worse, can make you feel uncomfortable to who has prepared.
In the world there are thousands of herbs, spices and ingredients. To that you add, the diversity of customs and traditions that make a recipe vary by country, city, town, family and according to the style of each chef or person in their kitchen.
You have to understand that there is a big difference between a correct dish, where the technique and the ingredients are well used and what you thought that food would be when you put it in your mouth.
For example, stewed chickpeas made by my grandmother will not taste the same as my friend’s mother from Mexico, those I tried in Greece or those who make friends in Madrid.
Each person uses their judgment, their environment, their influence and their style. I could even make ten different recipes of stewed chickpeas, depending on the country that inspires me and the cravings I have the day I do them.
Those of us who work in the food industry, have a code to evaluate everything we try, without saying anything to the chef or the person who cooks. And I always suggest the same to my family.
In the United States, we are badly used to returning everything that we do not like on the plate of food, when the right thing to do is to return only what is technically incorrect. For example, something very salty, very spicy, over cooked, dry or raw.
But when the food is well prepared and balanced, it should never be judged by your perception.
So, if you want to look good, both with the one who has cooked the food, and with those who share dinner with you, relax, leave the expectation off the table and enjoy your meal with an open mind.
One life is not enough to savor all the cuisines of the world. And remember, do not close yourself to prepare the same thing every week, it’s fun to travel from your kitchen, bringing ingredients from other countries to your dishes.
Doreen Colondres is a celebrity chef. Author of the book The Kitchen Doesn’t Bite. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram @DoreenColondres and visit www.LaCocinaNoMuerde.com , www.TheKitchenDoesntBite.com or buy her book on Amazon or iTunes.