I almost got in a fight over toast. Not an actual slice of toast, but the topic of toast as a trend. An old friend-one who typically shares my intrigue for quirky food trends-didn't even want to hear about it.

I almost got in a fight over toast. Not an actual slice of toast, but the topic of toast as a trend. An old friend-one who typically shares my intrigue for quirky food trends-didn't even want to hear about it.

"It makes sense," I pled with her, "if you're a bread baker and you have a storefront. Isn't it just another way to show off what you make? Like a pastry chef selling chocolate chip cookies?"

She gave me a look of pure attitude and argued she could make whatever she wanted at home. Why would she leave the house for toast? Her interjections continued until finally she paused and said, "Wait. How much is it?"

When I told her-roughly five bucks for three slices and three toppers-she started to laugh. "Oh," she said. "For $5 I would try it." (If you'd also like to, see "Toast Points" on page 32.)

That's the key phrase, isn't it? Try it.

That's the two-word golden rule my husband and I settled on when I took this gig. My Polish, Parma-raised husband had an appetite for Mrs. T's pierogi and Hamburger Helper when we met. On one of our first nights out at Alana's Food and Wine, I practically begged him to try a little chicken liver pate. He did, and by the time our entrees came, he wouldn't let the server clear the few remaining bites.

Admittedly, I'm not always the most adventurous person-you won't see me rappelling off a mountain anytime soon-but my palate has gotten a worldly workout. It's the part of me that's seemingly fearless. (The craziest thing I've eaten in the last year? It's a tie between fermented squid and soba noodles made with cricket flour.) I used to loathe blue cheese and never understood how anyone could enjoy a banana. Now, it's rare not to find both in my shopping cart.

Forgive me for sounding parental, but I'm issuing a challenge to you, no matter how adventurous an eater you are: Try new foods in 2015. Need help? That's what we're here for. Try a new cuisine (we suggest starting with African, page 60). Vodka drinkers, try a bourbon cocktail (we have 12 great classic cocktail suggestions on page 102). Spend a week eating nothing but tacos, like I did (the full recap on page 96). And, yes, consider paying $5 for a few slices of toast.

New to the Issue

Keeping our own resolution, we're trying out a few new things this issue. First, our "In and Out" column has been revamped into a new column called "Hot Seats" (page 32). It's a roundup of 10 food trends, restaurants and bars we're talking about now. Tear it out (it's perforated!), and use it as a guide to what's new in the dining scene.

We've also launched a new column we're calling "Back of the House" in our Table Talk section, the part of the magazine where you can find advice from experts on topics like great ethnic fare and food-centric road trips. Its purpose: To shine a light on those who work behind the scenes in the local food and drink industry. This issue, Adam Roelle shares a firsthand account of what it's like to pitch the state liquor control board (it's fascinating!), on page 64.

Happy Eating,

Beth Stallings, Editor