Check out the attached link to an article from the Chicago Tribune about a travel writer's experiences sampling different foods around the world. Once he gets past a story where he actually finds it necessary to explain what felafel is (maybe it was an editor), he covers a lot of interesting territory.
Personally, it strikes me as fairly obvious that you can build great rapport with people of different nationalities, cultures, languages and traditions by beng open to their food preferences. But of course there are lots of people who aren't willing to experiment and that may be why we still can't seem to get along with each other.
Anyway, see what you think.