Like any intrepid food explorer, CanadaGirl bought her first jar of kimchi, or Korean spicy fermented vegetables, but found herself a little nervous about tucking in. “I have wanted to try it for a while, and it seems like I would like it, but for some reason I’m nervous!” CanadaGirl says. We’ve all probably found ourselves in a similar situation, so what’s the best way to get past our fears so that we can enjoy new foods?

A great mental trick is to think of something that the new dish resembles. This is the “tastes like chicken” trick! In the case of kimchi made from pickled cabbage, just think of it as spicy sauerkraut, The Professor suggests. “If you are timorous, open a tin of sauerkraut and practice on that (honest),” Naguere says.

Also, with new foods, be aware that your first taste may not be representative of the whole genre. “It’s a bit like curries in that they have a stereotypical profile until you get into them,” Midlife says. “Then you find that they have a rather broad palate all by themselves.” If you don’t like your first taste of kimchi, try a different brand or a version made with different vegetables.

But ultimately, you have to just take that first bite. “The simplest recommendation for this and other similar circumstances is still the simplest one—just try it,” says huiray. Adds EWSflash: “Being nervous about trying something is normal, but one has to just flap one’s wings and dive down into it sometimes.”

Discuss: Help me get over my fear of kimchee!

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