Never Too Old to Try Something New


There is always something ‘funky’ and unique about foods I have never heard

of before. I am sure many times I have been offered a bite of something by

first, while young, my parents, later by friends and coworkers. I enjoy having

been included in International potlucks and look forward to going to summer’s

International festivals, too.

You may ‘chime in’ with something you have recently heard of or even better

yet, taste-tested.

These are healthy and interesting additions to include in your Spring and

Summer feasts.

~Try adding instead of Salt; suggested flavors of-

Lemon juice.

Lime juice.




Low sodium versions of Soy, Tobasco and Worcestershire sauces.


I have heard of these, but still have not tried:

~Adzuki Beans.


~Hemp Milk, Cashew and Almond flavored.


Okay, this is the first on this list I have actually tried and enjoyed. It is also

called, “baby kale.”


~Chia Seeds.

Not to grow ‘hair’ on cement or pottery shaped items but to eat and be

nutritious, too. I have tried this along with Flax seed sprinkled on my salad.

It adds texture and interest. I did not feel it changed the flavor either.

Quinoa has been around, but recently I tried the Red Quinoa and found it

to have a more complex flavor, changing the ingredients more than the other

kinds I have tried.


Fremented foods are still “In:”


Miso soup is now being served in a variety of offerings, at Panera Bread.



My daughter left me two bottles of cranberry kombucha, which she merely

explained, “These are more ‘your style,’ Mom. They are too sweet.” Not in my

mouth nor in my mind, did this appeal to me. I wrote about the television series,

with Minnie Driver, whose character had these bottles and jars of this. I know

at least one fellow blogger, Barb, (Silver in the Barn blogger) who enjoys this

extremely sour, fermented and healthy beverage. I just can sip on it for about

three sips, which I picture my Mom telling me to take ‘three bites’ when I try

foods. Still have the first of two bottles, barely sipped on.


What is “Back In”?



Coconut Oil


All of above foods and oils, never left my so-called “balanced diet.”


What is New in Herb Gardening?

Basil comes in Many Varieties!

I knew about the Italian and Genovese basils.

Sweet basil may be grown for Pesto.

Thai basil has a sweet anise flavor.

Holy or Tulsi Basil is used in Asian food flavoring. It is both

pungent and clove-like in flavor.

Purple-hued Opal Basil is being used in garnishes and to add

color to salads.

Lemon basil is citrusy and may be used in infused vinegars and

perfect match for seafood.

Another basil suited for seafood and salads is Lime basil.

Cinnamon basil is full of a hearty and spicy flavor suited for stews

and other dishes.

Little leaves or Pistou and Fino basils are filled with an intense

aroma. They also give a sweet and spicy flavor, along with having a

softer stem than most basil plants.

All of the above varieties of basil can be grown in pots placed in a

sunny spot. Pick any basil while they are young, which makes a fresh,

creates a more aromatic and delicious flavor.

What have you recently tasted which was new, refreshing or delicious?

Had you realized how many basil plant varieties were available?


About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

44 responses »

    • I have not been downtown Cleveland other than to go to the Indians game. I have been to Berardi’s in Lakewood, Crocker Park in Westlake and the Malley’s candy shop in North Olmsted. sorry, will let you know in June, after I see my bro’s over Memorial Day if they are still around!

      • West 25th is a pretty good visit, right across from the market. Nate’s has the best hummus and middle eastern food, and Phenom Phen is the best for pad thai. Phen may have a restaurant about 150th or so.

      • Thank you for describing what food items can be found at Phenon Phen and Nate’s deli. I like homemade hummus, also store bought. I would like to try Nate’s Middle Eastern food, along with their delicious hummus. I always trust people who give restaurant suggestions, 9 times out of 10, they are excellent.

  1. I’ve tried a few of these, Robin. But my husband is really the adventurous one when it comes to trying out new foods. I tend to stick with the same old/same old. Unless it’s sweet. Then, I’ll probably try it. πŸ˜‰

    • I am a little bit brave, but only when someone has paid for the whole thing and cut a piece off for me, or if samples are available! πŸ™‚ I have tried more of a variety of fruits and vegetables, plus noodle kinds over the years, but am a little hesitant about other foods, too, Judy!

  2. I think the trend will continue to be variety and many versions of a concept, as you point out with basil. Amazing kinds of basil!

    We do a lot of gardening but our climate limits the herbs and vegetables that might thrive elsewhere, because we have very high heat and then very low temperatures without warning.

    But, I have traveled a lot and have tried exotic foods. I think I mentioned one, “pan” in a post about my honeymoon in India. Another who group of exotics that I have had, were in Brazil where Amazonian fruits are available in abundance, like graviola and sapote. They are harder to get here.

    The worst thing I have ever tried, when I was a 20 year-old student teacher in an inner city, was chitlin’s. Don’t ask. That was only because I wanted to make my students (girls who had emotional problems, from the inner city, who were pregant, usually due to incest — talk about a tragic group) happy.

    There are a few on your list that I have not tried. My husband does all the cooking now because we found that he likes it better than I do and I am the baker. But, I will show him your list and see what he can do with some of these things.

    Great idea, Robin. You always come up with such interesting and informative posts!

    • Beth, you are such a great commenter to help all of us learn how to appreciate international cuisine. I liked something called ‘flan’ in Mexico and Spain, a delicious caramel custard, along with paella, which is a seafood stew!
      I think the fruits and veggies of the world would be ones I would be happy to try. At least you know where they came from. The source of chitlins is familiar to me, along with some people who like to nibble on pig’s feet. I have tried some kind of liver on a few different animals and did not mind it. Not going to try intestines or brains… smiles!
      I have a brother who is the cook, even using a bread maker, then making cornbread stuffing out of the cornbread or whole wheat bread pudding. His wife is the ‘clean up’ duty person, which she finds washing dishes and pots and pans to be calming. She will use the dishwasher if have a lot of company. They work together well! (Rich does the grocery shopping, since Susan says she is too much of an ‘impulse’ buyer and he knows what he needs to prepare the meals, if he is the grocery shopper.) They lived apart for four years while he was an interim professor in BG, where I got my degree. I loved going there for Homecoming and we would go the Education tent and the football games. Skyler, my oldest grandson, got to meet three authors, since Rich was in charge of taking them out to eat and driving them up to Detroit airport. I liked the author of the Biscuits books, found out her husband was the stunt double for Al Pacino. I loved Steven Kellogg who was an amazing person, encouraging my illustrating and writing children’s books. The last one was the one who wrote the Biggest Valentine’s, Biggest Pumpkin, etc. series. He was the writer while there was Felicia Bond was the illustrator. All were so nice to talk to Skyler, ages 3-6 years old. (BGSU still continues to have the Children’s Author workshops but Rich is ‘back home’ and Susan is very happy! They had ;’weekends’ together, but it was a little bit hectic during those times.)
      Thanks again for mentioning your social work aspects. Sounds like my Mom’s way of teaching high school. It was ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ at the Oldrieve household, pregnant girls, druggies and brilliant ones, too. She taught 30 years Spanish and English, while World Lit. brought the unique guests over to our house. Not at my high school/ thank goodness!!

      • You mom sounds amazing, Robin. No wonder you are the lovely person you are! I try anything plant based with no reservations. Animals, no longer. But I still have a great diet. My husband does all the shopping and I do the cleanup. He is great at stretching dollar, but if I go along, the bill doubles as I always see something ‘extra’ that we don’t really need. I don’t bake much as we both agree fewer calories are better as one ages, but I love to do it and I actually love cleaning and organizing. So we have the perfect blend, he shops and cooks, I clean and organize. πŸ˜€

      • Thanks, Beth. I was blessed, but your mother would have also been amazing. My Mom and your Mom took advantage of the conventions which were out of town,while my Dad would take us to museums mine would be taking courses or getting inservice credits. Fun times and your household reminds me of my younger brother. He and Skyler came back from Boy Scout camp but it rained and was below 30 degrees, The weather today is beautiful and in the 60’s. Such is life! Smiles.

      • I am not sure if I mentioned I admire that you were willing at age 20 to eat something out of your comfort zone to help bridge the gap between you and these young women who needed you as a mentor. By being open-minded with trying chitlins, I am sure you helped ease and allow more openness in your communication.

  3. Is it coincidence, my other half (who is the cook at home and comes fro another continet) just started buying loads of herbs and stuff, because I was complaining of fatigue and several other little aches and pains… he bought: ginger, basil, lavender, aniseed, laurel, fenugreek, zaater (lebanese spice mix), turmeric, chili, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, white pepper and also selery, fava bean, chickpeas, kidney bean, lentils in all colours etc…now waiting for the effect to kick in πŸ™‚

    • I am so excited, Eva, that you added some really interesting types of herbs to the list I started. I also am so pleased that you and Beth above have an adventurous man who enjoys cooking and helping out with meals. I like chickpeas in hummus and also enjoy many of these spices. So sweet to see ones I have not tried yet!
      Thanks so much and hope to hear about the best health effects on your life, Eva.

  4. I have tried almond milk, but found it a tad grainy.
    That was cool to know there are so many types of basil.
    There are also many varieties of mint. I’m trying to grow ‘chocolate mint’ this year.

    There are just some foods I will not try. Sorry no scorpion on a stick for me.
    And I’m not swallowing live baby octopus whole. Call me chicken.

    I tried making my own humus (which will probably work better in a food processor than a blender).
    And you can add your own flavors instead of paying outrageous prices at the grocery store.
    A can of chickpeas can go far πŸ˜‰ I like them whole in soup too. You can also drain chickpeas roll them in spices and bake them. A yummy snack.

    Always a fun read. Cheers.

    • I am so happy to read of all of your new ideas, Jules. I think that it is cool that mint has different flavors, where the hybrids have been created.
      I also am so excited to know about baking chickpeas to make those crunchy snacks. I have not tried this and was a little hesitant. It is like when I made kale chips in the oven, simply wash and dry them, very dry, they spread them on a cooking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, spices or just some salt. Well, you have to have a very clear amount of time or they turn black. I could not take the smell out of the house for a few days. ha ha. I liked my second batch but really opened and closed the oven a lot. My rented apt. oven has an unclear glass window. Unless there is a light colored cake in there, everything else looks very dark already. Smiles!
      I am never going to eat live bugs, octopus or scorpions cooked on a stick, but have eaten crunchy chocolate covered ants and did not mind it. Tasted like the Krispie candy bars.
      I am so glad you enjoyed this post. Hope you don’t mind but in my May post I am going to mention your poetry blog, since I am explaining why I now include our full moon discussions. Take care and love, Robin

      • Jicama sticks in cinnamon sound intriguing. I love cinnamon, especially in candies and pies. The Matcha smoothies sound delicious, isn’t it a type of tea mixture? Also, watermelon is good ‘pickled’ but may try a watermelon radish. I am smiling since you have a wide collection here, none which I have ever tried! I would try stir fry with squash, although unfamiliar with Opo. You definitely deserve the title of “Cook” or “Chef,” Cheryl!
        Thanks, Cheryl for adding such a wide variety of new foods to try. Hope everyone will enjoy reading the other people’s comments to find out more foods…
        I had fun at the park, enjoyed seeing my brother and older grandson, Skyler. They had quite an interesting rainy and cold camp-out and wish it had been starting today, while we have 60 degree weather. That’s life and good for my grandson to have to learn how to ‘rough it’ but worry about my brother’s 57 year old muscles and bones. ha ha!

  5. I love sea vegetables Robin and add them to my salads all the time – thy offer a unique salty taste that meets my salt craving [I don’t have a sweet tooth] and are loaded with minerals too. I generally eat very healthily in the old fashioned way which includes real fats, real vegetables and fruit and avoids ready made, processed and refined foods. Enjoy your coming summer time glut of fresh foods! I’m getting ready for pumpkin soups and suchlike πŸ™‚

    • You will have a nice season with saved foods from your garden going into soups and stews. I like hearing this reminder that you are in another whole season. Glad you had a chance to get to U.S. to see the cherry blossoms and your good friends, too, Pauline.
      I am looking forward to our farmer’s market, my son and oldest daughter’s two distinctly different gardens, too.
      I figured you to be a good cook, one who would use the real ingredients, Pauline. I think we all need to move back to the ‘basic’ foods, but enjoy trying, as you suggested sea vegetables and other new kinds of herb ‘hybrids.’ Thank you for adding something which was not mentioned yet here.

    • It is nice to add, Jo. We have maybe some of us tried sea salt, but you never know what will be ‘new’ to the others reading comments. I am continually surprised at the hybrids, along with the foods I have never tried and should. I like the idea of a tomato salad and cannot wait to have fresh ones out of either my son’s or oldest daughter’s gardens. I do not grow anything but ivy plants in my apt. Smiles and thanks for letting me know about where your local crunchy sea salt is harvested, Jo.

  6. I had the opportunity to learn about some interesting varieties of food when a blogging friend taught me and Florence how to eat vegan. I haven’t adhered to the vegan diet, but I eat much more healthy than I ever used to. I am interested in hemp seeds and milk, but the sources I have found are quite expensive. That is a deterrent to making it a regular part of my diet.

    I did not know about all the different types of basil. I do know about pepper sauces and hot spices because I crave the hot stuff. This is a very informative piece you wrote! I will have to keep looking for the basil varieties. Thank you for sharing this great information. – Mike

    • Mike, you and I have improved our diets due to Honk if You’re Vegan, along with other special vegan friends. I have lost touch with a few but try to eat more healthy choices.
      I have not tried the hemp seed or hemp milk yet. In fact, I may stick to cow’s milk more often. I found that it is still fine with my body, not having any allergies, along with being fairly reasonable price-wise. I have tried almond and cashew milks but then tend to add flavoring and sugar, so best to stick to what I don’t tamper with, unless I occasionally add chocolate to my milk or make cocoa.
      I like peppers that are pickled, sometimes hot and spicy; sometimes sweet and vinegary. I am only allergic to green peppers, not yellow or red nor hot peppers. Strange but there is an oil which made my Mom burp while pregnant with me, then I would literally cry when a baby while she prepared stuffed green peppers for my Dad. She ended up later, when I got older, making the Spanish rice with hamburger first for she and me, then my brothers and Dad would eat stuffed peppers to their heart’s content.
      I was happy this led to a conversation about food, Mike. Glad you found something new, too.

      • Yes, it was Celeste (Honk if You’re Vegan) whom we met with while we were staying in S. California, who taught us about the vegan diet. I forgot you also followed her. She is such a sweet person and a favorite blog connection.

  7. Kombucha is an acquired taste that I have acquired. Chia seeds are such a nutritionally dense food, everyone should be eating them. They are great in drinks too, as long as you can stand the gelatanous texture they take on when they soak for a bit. Great post.

    • Thank you, this was nice to add these positive thoughts on ‘new’ food choices. Your words may help us to feel encouraged to try Chia seeds and other things, like kombucha. I had heard they became like tapioca in beverages, which I have tried ‘bubble tea’ with tapioca pearls and actually like chewing them. This made me smile to see your thoughts, since we are just getting to ‘know’ each other. Thank you again!

    • When you say two hard boiled eggs, Jill, did you mean daily? I have been eating one a day for awhile but have often had other reasons for worrying about my cholesterol. Sometimes I think it is due to family history or chemistry. My running brother is fairly healthy and still takes anti-cholesterol meds. I am not sure if I have had this kimchi, but have smelled it, which does seem much stronger than sauerkraut. I like sauerkraut, but did not have a positive experience with kombucha, may need to try a bite of kimchi to make my younger daughter quit bugging me! Smiles back at you, Jill.

      • Yes, I eat two hard boiled eggs every morning, for my breakfast, Robin. I eat a TON of cheese too, but as I said, my levels are good. I do believe, for some people, their body produces LDL at a higher rate than others, but exercise is a big factor too.
        I’ve never tasted Kimchi either, but the smell of it cooking in a Chinese market, sent me running out the store…gagging. It was really bad. 😦

      • There was just an uncertainty when I read your mentioning eating but not when or how often. Leaving this out meant my wishing for clarity. My parents and our family used to eat eggs once or twice a week. Depending on how many eggs I have left, I do hardboil and have one or make egg salad out of them. I love cheese, Jill, too!

  8. Kimchi is all time favorite. I prefer fresh cilantro, mint, lemon grass, stevia ( using for my tea since it is noncaloric sweetener) and other herbs from my garden. For salads I use olive oil mixed with lemon juice or vinegar. I have tried kale too. Too many things packed in one post Robin, thanks

    • This was wonderful by sharing what is in your garden and how you find kimchi to be an all time favorite. Maybe this depends on how it is prepared? I am so far just one who has been next to my youngest daughter who was eating it. It smelled very strong… is this normal? I like the idea of olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar plus some spices to make a dressing. This is a great way to stay healthy since store bought salad dressings are full of additives and not so great ingredients. Sorry about this busy post, I had a few news items and I combined them together. Thanks for helping us with sharing your choices and maybe it will help someone to try these, since you gave a very positive input. Smiles, Robin

  9. i love to try new foods, though i’m not a fan of ‘odd and unusual meat parts.’ other than that, i’m game for most anything. i love to try new hot sauces and consider it an art and adventure. also new spices and herbs combined or used in ways that are new to me –

    • Beth, you are so right, odd and unusual meat parts are not my cup of tea, either. I am all for trying healthy new choices which may not be new to some people. I have just been trying to read more natural food sources, trying to expand my own diet, too. I like hot and spicy foods, but just cannot eat one kind of pepper: green. The great thing is I can still eat red, yellow and banana peppers.
      I like how you consider ‘cuisine’ to be an ‘art’ since I do believe those who have talent in the food industry demonstrate an art, while those who dabble in trying new food are also engaging in an art! Good way of describing this, Beth!

  10. I’ve not tried anything too new. I did have a paleo based dish yesterday but I’m not sure what all was in it, nothing unusual. Just paleo based foods. And it was good. I would try all kinds of foods if I was more exposed to them I think. Though not necessarily oddity foods just for the sake of trying odd foods. I want it to appeal to me.

    • I also have to feel it looks or smells delicious, Colleen, before I taste something! smiles and thanks for helping me to know about paleo based dishes. I need to try this since you felt it was good!

  11. I love Thai basil, its purple and green — beautiful and amazing in a green smoothie. Chia seeds are delicious. I like to put Goji berries and cocoa nibs in my brownies. They are superfood. I’m not sure what that means, but it’s great marketing. LOL

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