Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Nov 26, 2006 07:22 PM

what makes a hound - nature or nurture?

david feldman refers to the question in one of his posts - nature or nurture? the issue fascinates me - only because i'm increasingly becoming aware of attractive, intelligent people, whose taste in books i like, whose ipod i'd borrow and whose choice of film gets no argument from me ... but who have dead palates.

whats weird is that some of these people are madly passionate about food.

and then there are people like my brother who stayed behind in bombay - we have NOTHING in common. a few barely civil grunts is all we can manage whenever we do accidentally meet - i might as well live on pluto as far he's concerned. but if he tells me that the sali boti in this restaurant in parsi colony is great, then i know its phenomenal.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Howler, good to see you back on CH.

    I am convinced it is nature but nuture comes into it too. I have always wanted to taste and try everything my DH is the same way. My sister was very conservative about food, we used to say she would only eat white food. My parents were foodies and always trying to introduce new and wonderful things, being sure we got to top restaurants where ever we lived, so it wasn't like my sister wasn't given the opportunities. Doug's brother is a fairly conservative eater too sticking to what is familiar and safe (their father was the same way and his mother was a very frustrated cook). His wife is pretty conservative too and I have had their sons at the table and when confronted with something new or unfamiliar ask their mother if they will like it. They are both in grad school now and out of the house but I can guarantee because of their up-bringing anything new culinarily will be looked upon with great suspicion.

    I guess it is like the old which came first chicken or the egg question.

    1. I think more nurture than nature. My mother was a graduate of the U. of Kentucky with a degree in Home Economics (try to find that today). So, she knew food and was an outstanding southern cook, we were served a very wide variety of different foods when I was growing up. My father was an airline captain who flew international. Made my first trip to Europe at age 8 where I enjoyed my first paella in Spain, that was in the 50's when i doubt 90% of the people in this country had ever heard of a paella. There was fish and chips in England, too many different things to remember in Italy, wonderful sausages in Germany. With that start I've never been afraid to try almost anything. I can remember him bringing home live lobsters home from Boston when he flew there. That was many years before there was a tank of them in the grocery.

      In the 60's I was in Viet Nam so got to experience any number of different Asian foods, Viet Namese, Thai, Chinese and Japanese. All of those I love today.

      So, I think experiencing a wide variety early on in life nurtures one's interest in food, a interest that will probably last a lifetime.

      1. Nuture.

        My parents traveled a great deal. We grew up eating more exotic produce and absolutely using every spice on the rack! Growing up, many friends would say, "what's wrong with apples & oranges?" when having lunch at my house. My Mother would chime in, "take a trip to Jamaica, eat this papaya!" I loved her for that!

        I'd love to hear an example of how a CH is born/nature.

        1. Gotta be mostly nurture, though there may be a natural inclination to go this route.

          Even beyond nurture, the experiences one has as an adult further the food experiences one has during childhood & youth.

          So maybe there's another category--something to do with exploration beyond nurture.

          1. Interesting thread.

            I think Nature plays a certain role in how curious and determined a person is--two characteristics I frequently associate with Hounds.

            Nurture plays a big role in channelling those natural tendencies into food.

            But isn't there a certain destiny in it, too?