Are San Francisco residents more adventurous food eaters than people in say North Dakota? The probability that Bay Area residents have sampled Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican, Salvadoran, or Ethiopian food is much higher than the person living in North Dakota. But what does adventurous really mean?
- San Franciscans may be just as adventurous as people in small towns. San Franciscans may be very similar in this respect to people from North Dakota in that they eat the food available at their local restaurants. Since the restaurants in the Bay area come from diverse cultures, SF residents may seem more adventurous even if they are only sampling what is locally available. Of course, a restaurant will go out of business if there is no demand for the food prepared, so there must be some demand.
- Demand may be initially generated by immigrants. Since the Bay Area has so many immigrants, it is natural that is has many more types of food than North Dakota.
- Just as in North Dakota, San Franciscans may just eat food similar to their peers. Because the Bay Area has so many immigrants, it is much more likely that your peer is foreign-born in San Francisco than in the Bay Area. Or it is more likely that your peers have been exposed to a wide variety of cuisines. Thus, it may be the “cultural norm” to eat a variety of foods.
- Young people may be more adventurous the old people. If more young people live in cities, this may help to determine how adventurous a town is.
- Living in San Francisco is not determined exogenously. Individuals who like to try new foods may migrate to the Bay Area.
So to determine which city is more adventurous, San Francisco or Bismarck, North Dakota I propose the following test. Take a sample of residents of each city and see which are willing to try monkey brains. The city with highest proportion who try it, is the most adventurous.