How have your tastebuds changed?
I still find it amazing how much my tastebuds change over the years. I hated mushrooms all my life (yes, I am aware how horrible that is) and just started adoring them 5 years ago. I don't know what did it but I suddenly could not get enough of them. Same goes for lamb. Has this ever happened to anyone else out there?
I forced myself to learn to like raw tomatoes, which was about the only thing I really didn't like. I can eat them one of two ways now: on a grilled cheese sandwich or mixed with garlic and olive oil and lots of salt on a bruschetta.
Over the last few years, I've felt like eating more beef and fewer sweets...not really sure why.
I used to be able to tolerate lowfat and American cheese. Now they taste like chemical plastic (a redundancy, I guess). I used to be more into sweets, too, but these days I'm into savory.
Another vote for less sweets. I used to have the biggest sweet tooth, and now the thought of snacking on sweets really just doesn't appeal to me. I'd much rather have a piece of cheese or something.
Also, I used to abhor mushrooms and then about a year ago I became obsessed and would look for any excuse to eat them.
I don't know whether it's a question of them changing, but I find myself liking things now that I hated 30 years ago, and vice versa. Maybe it's a never ending learning experience; the more you try, the more you figure out what you like/ dislike?
When I became pregnant I started to HATE lamb, parsley and black pepper.
After the birth of my son, I regained the love of parsley and black pepper. To the utter dismay of my husband, I still do not like lamb, which I used to love. Now, everytime I go out with my girfriends, he eats lamb and we are all happy!
re: Ally Cat
I'm with you on the lamb. I used to love it and then one day, it was so darned GAMEY... it was like eating a farm.
Now that I am pregnant I am completely disgusted by breakfast eggs--sunny side up, scrambled, et cetera, but have developed a silly craving for pancakes, which I previously hated.
I also remember as a young person being very averse to ripe cheeses and seafood on the halfshell. Now that I'm an adult and temporarily barred from having either, its what I love and wish for most.
I guess I'm taking this question a bit more literally than other posters. About four years ago, days after I returned from a trip to Thailand, I was making briskets to take to a friend's Seder. I decided to make two very different recipes, one to satisfy each of the two families that would be there. When I went to taste them, they tasted exactly the same. One was a tomato based sauce, mildly seasoned; the other an onion based sauce, quite heavily seasoned, especially with garlic. Couldn't tell the difference for the life of me.
Long story short, it turned out I'd lost my sense of smell due to a sinus infection I'd picked up overseas and couldn't taste a thing. As I'm sure you all know, most of what we "taste" comes from our sense of smell. I could only recognize sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami--what it is that our tastebuds recognize without using our noses. My sense of smell, and therefore taste, returned very slowly over the course of a year and a half. I still recall the first time I smelled garlic emanating from a pizzaria. I was so happy I started skipping down the street.
During the time my sense of smell was impaired, I found myself putting hot sauce on everything. I came away from that experience still liking my food a good deal hotter than most. In fact, I've discovered that a surprising number of people who like their food really hot have somewhere along the line lost at least a partial sense of smell.
Gradually over the years, I have come to love onions and spicy foods. I would not touch that stuff when I was a kid. Some tastes have come upon me all of a sudden. I was in New Orleans one day and wandered into Johnny's Po-Boys; after looking at the menu, for some reason unknown to me, I had a burning desire for a fried oyster po-boy (I had never had oysters before). It was love at first bite.
I'm constantly trying to train myself to like things I may not like normally.
In a kitchen I taught myself to like bell peppers, which still kinda make me cringe when I eat them.
And raw onions, most every kid hates raw onions. Now, many years later, I can destroy raw onions. Sandwiches aren't complete without them.
I used to just like tomatoes, but when I was pregnant w/ my daughter during the summertime six years ago, I became almost obsessed w/ tomatoes. I thought about them all of the time and ate raw tomatoes with just about everything. I *still* crave tomatoes and I'm almost devestated when tomato season ends.
My daughter, incidentally, ADORES tomatoes. If she'd been born w/ her ingredients listed she was probably about 40% tomato!
i used to hate cheese until 4 years ago...then again I think it was because my mother forced me to eat american singles as a kid.
The first time I tried natto I didn't gag, nor did I find it particularly repellant, but I didn't really think too much of it, either. A few months later, I found myself craving the idea of it, and the second time I had it I was sold. Now it's a fairly regular part of my diet. To me, the smell and the taste have a buttery element that I really like (makes up for having to pick the cobweb-like threads off my chin).
I do think as we get older our tastes change. I HATED mustard as a kid and teen. Now I have about six different types in my fridge :/ I used to like Watermelon as a kid, now it's 'meh' to me (and I REALLy can't do Watermelon Juice! BLEH!!) One thing has remained the same though... I still can't stand nopales...
We lose tastebuds as we age (it's why most kids LOVE sweets and hate veggies). It's why a lot of much older people aren't as interested in food.
A pregnant friend of mine told me that a pregnant woman's body regenerates in nine months so it makes sense that what you crave in pregnancy you might keep craving - you're different! The rest of us take seven years i believe?
Taste and texture issues are not always the same. I can't eat raw tomatoes because of the texture but LOVE them cooked.
I think a lot of emotional/cultural/psychological issues can play into food dislikes too, and perhaps as we age we get over them?
I hated onions as a kid and love them now. I hated coffee then and still hate it. Also still hate broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, or any bitter greens. Am back and forth on carrots....I think carrots are suspicious.
More than anything I'm willing to eat more 'mature' food combinations: salty with sweet or sweet with salty, especially. Subtleties are more interesting to me now. I'm also more willing to try the 'hated' foods in new combinations to see if I like them.
Interesting: the pregnant thing.
And, not only do we lose tastebuds when we age, but infants and toddlers actually have tastebuds on the *inside of their cheeks*. It's no wonder that often they reject very spicy foods or foods that have a sulfurous component like broccoli unless those foods are repeatedly offered.
"..I think carrots are suspicious. "
that's funny :) I think carrots are suspicious too, but I have no idea why. perhaps they were cooked into things and caught us unaware as children? i used to hate cooked carrots but now don't mind them, as long as they are not bitter and are just one component of the dish.
my taste buds have changes exactly the same way, I would not eat mushrooms ans then one day... Tasted the most fabulous mushroom dish ( I was just being polite) and now.. I'm a musha-holic.
people are reminding me of all the things i used to hate as a kid, even though I loved most vegetables and had a very adventurous palate otherwise: cooked carrots, large pieces of cooked onion, mushrooms, or green peppers (it was the texture not the taste that bothered me). i also used to hate the fat or skin from meat, but unfortunately now love it.
i guess i didn't like anything mealy, which now means a mealy apple, tomato, banana, etc.
Things I used to hate but now love:
Spinach, Brussel Sprouts, Asparagus, Mussels, Uni, Unagi, Natto, Dried Shrimp, Maclaren's Imperial Cheese, Blue Cheese (I have 6 different types in my fridge right now -- how could I have hated this?), Liver, Scotch (I've always loved wine and most other spirits), Lobster Roe and Tamale, Squash,
Things still growing on me:
Beer (in general), Certain whole grains, Ika, Taco (I'm a texture person -- I now eat and enjoy these when I used to hate them),
Thing I used to like but now hate,
Regular Coke (or any other highly sweet soda -- I now prefer 'diet'), cheese slices or velvetta,
In general my barriers lie of the Bitter and the musty ends of the taste spectrum and on the chewy side of the textural world.
When I was a child I was absolutely appalled by the smell of baked potatos! Of all things! I couldn't understand how anyone could possibly go near them! So strange....now I can't think of anything I wouldn't eat.
I find myself enjoying more varied (sweet and sour)flavors. I was never a vegetable eater growing up, but I love exotic veggies and many times i prefer them to a meat dish. My flavors to sweets have changed as well.
I used to love all sweets of any kind, but now I am more discriminating. I worked as a pastry station and I find myself burnt out on most sweets. I tend to go with something very unusual or different flavor combinations. the only kind of chocolate that I can eat is bittersweet or baking chocolate. It not at all unusual for me to get a small piece of baking chocolate and just nibble on the same piece for a few hours. I never liked soda and I don't keep it in the house, except for the occasional bottle of tonic water.
I was surprised to read about the previous poster's taste changed when she had a baby. I used to love the taste of hoppy pilsners and Belgian Abbey beers, but after the birth of my daughter I cannot stand the taste of any beer or liquor. I never drank much wine, and now I only keep wine and spirits in the house for cooking
foods I wouldnt touch as a kid:
salad--or if i did have it, I always ate it plain, without any dressing (WHY???)
mayonnaise--we usually only had that nasty Miracle Whip which I thought WAS mayonniase.
Any kind of nuts--now I LOVE pisatchios, almonds and cashews!
Ribs--Gods gift to mankind
Wheat bread--still working on this one
Black Pepper--I put that on EVERYTHING now
Olives--they definately now have their place
Used to hate: beets, sweet potatoes, sauerkraut. Now I just love them. We had beets this evening, as a matter of fact.
Ditto cilantro - once I learned to use it where it's appropriate and where it enhances food, rather than overwhelms it, I understood how great it can be.
I've always loved most vegetables, so that was never a big deal. Still do. Except for okra.
One delightful change is that I now enjoy beans. In my youth they were just too chalky, no matter how they were prepared.
Curried foods are great, too. I was always worried they'd be too hot to handle, but now I know what to order so I am enjoying them.
For years I would barely sip at a glass of wine, just to be polite. Now...well, don't get between me and the bottle. I'm still not a fan of beer.
I can't think of anything that I used to eat but no longer tolerate. I've just added more stuff that I like, which is a lot of fun.
I still loathe certain textures, like sweet bread pudding or custard. If the flavors in them are savory, though, it's completely different.
When I was a kid, I only liked Black Diamond cheese slices, dill pickles, sauerkraut and potatoes and fruit. Unless it was sour or salty, I didn't eat it!
It seems as though as every year goes by, I start loving something that I absolutely could not get close to when I was younger - I remember the first time in Home Ec in Junior High when I learned that green bell peppers could taste good. And then a few years later I liked mushrooms and sour cream. Raw tomatoes were a hurdle that I overcame on vacation to Mexico with Pico de Gallo after I graduated from high school. My passion for olives came a year or two later. Fresh fish and seafood came next (who knew there was life after frozen fishsticks?)
Now I've gotten to the point where there aren't any vegetables that I can think of that I don't like - although I'm still not particularly fond of boiled peas. Why would you wreck a beatiful thing like peas and turn them into mush? Beets were my last real problem in the vegetable arena, until I realized they tasted fantastic grated raw with garlic and mayo. Yum!
There are still a lot of tastes to conquer out there. I'm not a great fan of organ meats or dried shrimp or blood sausage, but I just may get there eventually.
I hold the line, however, at fervently persuing the acquisition of taste for Natto!
My tastebuds haven't changed an awful lot from when I was little, they blossomed and became more discriminating though.
It was only since I really started to try and appreciate food more (actually thinking when I eat instead of putting it in and swallowing) that my tastebuds have really changed. General sweet flavors don't do for me what they used to. I like complexity now. I've occasionally cought myself eating a spoonful of plain, stoneground dijon mustard, the flavors are so intense and varied! The only thing I can say I don't like are orejas (pig ears, spanish style). not my thing...