I once wrote a children’s novel called Happy Face that took place in colonial Kenya, East Africa. Part of my purpose was to show the importance for westerners to learn about the culture. In this scene, Cora, the wife of a rookie missionary, entertains Oko, an African boy.
"Would you like tea, Oko?"
He shakes his head. The white woman has violated tribal custom. If she asks, it means she does not wish to give.
"I make it with nutmeg," Cora says as she stirs her milk-and-spice tea. "You’re sure you don’t want some?"
Again, Oko shakes his head and watches. The aroma of the tea fills the kitchen. He looks away. He cannot tell her he likes the smell of nutmeg better than anything except cinnamon.
In the middle of that scene, I injected a few sentences of pure telling (italicized above). I could have used dialogue. My purpose was not to have Oko correct Cora, but to explain to readers—using telling statements—that the missionary had acted like an ignorant foreigner in an African culture.
You can insert telling information to help readers grasp information quickly.