At the beginning of a cross-cultural trip to Turkey years ago, I sternly told my students that we were going to experience Turkish culture. I absolutely did not want to hear any whining about wanting McDonalds or a pizza. Turkish cuisine includes some wonderful foods, and they were not to turn up their noses at what was served. We were not going to insult our hosts.
One day, as we were walking along the Aegean coast in Izmir, we came upon a street vendor selling mussels on spicy rice in the shell. Our guide, Cenk (pronounced Jenk), explained that this dish, called Midye Dolma, consists of raw mussels on cooked rice, and Turkish people like it very much. I do not do raw fish, so I backed away from the vendor. And guess who was the only one in our group who did not try the mussels? And guess who got hassled for not eating local cuisine? The guy in the back wearing the blue hat—who was suddenly very quiet.