What was your first exposure to exotic cuisine? And by exotic, I mean food that your mom never prepared, and likely never would have even thought to cook. Also, how old were you when exposed to the exotic?
When I was 16 or 17 (in 1984) I went to a Thai restaurant with a couple of my college student cousins and one of their buddies. I knew zilch about Thai food, and ordered Gai Ga Pow (hot and spicy chicken) and wonton soup. It changed my life frankly. That Gai Ga Pow, which I have never been able to replicate, remains one of the top-most delicious things I have ever eaten.