I lived in Asia for over 20 years. I visited fascinating places and enjoyed new food experiences. When I returned to the US, I didn’t want the discovery to end. I found that immigrant communities had there own authentic restaurants often hiding in plain sight. 8theWorld explores different cuisines and paves the way for other adventurous newbies to try something different and delicious.
The Radar Chart
I love to see beautiful food photos, but for many dishes I wonder what it really tastes like. I wish someone would describe the flavors for me. I came up with a simple radar chart that maps ten different dimensions.
Some of the dimensions are intuitive, like sweet, spicy or salty. Umami/meaty is the savory taste of a steak. Sour can be vinegar or lemon or anything acidic. Herbaceous may not describe the specific herb or vegetable, just to what extent the taste is present. Starchy can be from potatoes, rice, bread or grain.
The last category is “Out There.” This is truly subjective. Non-adventurous eaters should be OK with foods having a score of 1. Foods may rank higher if the ingredients are atypical and a challenge to the American palate. Once again, subjective and certainly culturally biased. The “Out There” score is not trying to measure how tasty a dish is (for example fried sheep brains are amazingly delicious), and what is delicious to someone may not work for me (I’m looking at you durian).
Since the goal of this site is to introduce people to different cuisines and try something new, having a measure of “degree of difficulty” seems like a useful measure, subjective and bias-prone is may be.