New Year’s resolutions can be pretty daunting. The stress behind setting out to do something and then actually following through is tough enough, but on top of that, behavioral science shows that resolutions are often ineffective because people set aspirational goals for themselves without realistic expectations of how they are going to achieve them.
What that says to us is that New Year’s resolutions themselves aren’t the problem, but rather the type of resolutions we’re making. So, what if we all resolved to have more fun? Or to try new things? Wouldn’t those resolutions be much more attainable?
We think so. Which is why, at Chicago Food Planet, we’re giving you a realistic way to achieve your New Year’s resolution of having more fun and trying new things. Just ask our tour guides — they’ll tell you that each of our tours is busting at the seams with fun and newness.
Lisa, one of our Chinatown guides, says that one of the most popular and unique foods sampled on the tour is Woo Ga. New to most people, Woo Ga is a type of dim sum made from mashed taro root, combined with dried shrimp, mushrooms and pork. It’s then formed into an oblong shape, coated in rice flour and deep-fried. Not only is Woo Ga delicious, but it also speaks to the cultural roots that pervade the Cantonese dim sum table. Cool, right?
Dim Sum at Triple Crown as part of our Chinatown tour via The Ghost Guest
According to Jess, one of our Gold Coast/Old Town guides, many tour participants have never tried sushi before coming along with us on a tour. After learning more about it and trying it, most people say plan on eating it again.
Sushi at Kamehachi as part of our Gold Coast/Old Town tour via A Squared Blog
Also on our Gold Coast/Old Town tour, you can taste several different varieties of cinnamon (did you know there was more than one kind?) and experience the differences between each. You’ll also get the chance to see, smell and taste a variety of other rare and incredible spices. Not only that, but spices are a great way to add something new to some of your favorite recipes.
And it doesn’t stop with the food. On our Chinatown tour, you’ll be able to visit a Buddhist Temple — the Friendship Enlightenment Buddhist Temple — which is a new experience for most people. Lisa mentioned that one time, when her group stopped at the temple, they got to experience a banquet that was taking place that day. In fact, they were even invited to participate. She says that’s a great example of the graciousness and welcoming feeling one has at the Friendship Enlightenment Buddhist Temple.
Our guides will also tell you that sometimes the most popular foods on our tours aren’t the ones you’d expect. For example, the kale salad from our Bucktown/Wicker Park tour tends to get rave reviews from people who’d normally never try kale. Proof that even meat-and-potatoes-types can be converted!
And of course, for those who aren’t from Chicago, the experience of a Chicago-style pizza or hotdog can be new, too. We loved this tweet that Amy Cherry sent us just before diving into her first ever slice of deep dish. (And yes, she loved it.)
Another new thing that comes out of our tours is new friendships. Jess says that one of the coolest and most surprising things she sees as a guide is witnessing new friendships form among tour participants. She says she’s witnessed people exchange contact information hundreds of times, for hundreds of reasons. “The tour has magical powers,” she says, “and often seems to bring people together in mysterious ways.” You never know whom you’ll meet on a Chicago Food Planet tour!
So make a New Year’s resolution that’s easy to keep, and join us for something fun and new on a Chicago Food Planet tour. Our 2014 season begins on March 20th, but tickets are available now. Not sure which tour to try? Learn more about our Chinatown, Bucktown/Wicker Park and Gold Coast/Old Town food tours.