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How's your Palate?

Today I recently read an article with comments attached, which made me wonder....how's your palate?

As a Foodie, do you think your tasteabliity is better, differerent, more or less refined? As a Chow?

Do you think that people who don't have your sense of taste are, less tasteful, more tasteful? Is being a Super taster good? Bad? Do you ever wonder how people eat "that"?

Personally, I love those bitter tastes, always. I have never understood why people like sweets, at all. Many vegetables are too sweet to me, but bring on the bitter ones! And please, please, please may I have more mushrooms! I adore the complexities of "bitter" foods, bring on the chocolates, dark, rich, those red wines. Ah the cheeses, blue, sharp! And to be frank, some good rare beef, is slightly sweet.

But that is ME! I once knew a relationship was doomed, when I burnt the garlic in the prep. And I tried to pass it off. To me it was inedible, he could not taste it. And if you adore sweets, I will very politely decline to taste your food alot.

So Chows...tell about your palate!

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  1. I often joke that I have the palate of a five year old. Honestly, it does not take much to please me in the way of taste. There are not many things I won't eat, and I enjoy a well prepared PB&J at home just as much as a beautiful meal at a fine restaurant.Some people may consider this not such a good thing, but frankly, I feel it is a blessing as where I am from people do not get much more involved in food beyond picking the nearest chain resto.
    Since joining CH I know I am becoming more discerning. The boards have encouraged me to try more locally owned and ethnic fare, and as these experiences prove time and time again to be much more satisfying, complex, and palate pleasing as compared to your typical franchise food I see I am developing a bit of an aversion to your average watered down passionless sustenance fare.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ArikaDawn

      foodies may or may not have more discerning taste...it's a bit of nature and a bit of nurture. and i think a lot of it is also in peoples' heads! heh.

      we're all born with a certain number of tastebuds and nothing can change that (supertasters have a lot and may have an aversion to stronger bitter or sour flavors because they're much stronger to them...non-tasters have much less of them and may not be able to taste much beyong the basic profile of the dish whether it be sweet or otherwise). maybe you have more tastebuds on the sweet side of your mouth?

      and we love the food we've had positive associations with. but we can be trained to recognize flavors and "tastes", and we can grow accustomed to them. more than anything else, these advanced preferences are psychological. we once did an experiment where people were blindfloded and had to eat various samples. some we disgusting!! but almost everyone loved the crunchy, spicy mexican bugs. ewwwww....

      i personally have become used to so many different tastes and textures over the years, but i still prefer the simple things.

      1. re: kimberlya

        I agree with you on the nature vs. nurture thing. I remember a time when the only wine I could drink was white zinfandel. Gradually, I tried other wines and now I love dryer red wines and wouldn't dream of drinking a white zin again.

        I also hated seafood until a few years ago. And sushi? Forget about it. Now I love to try as many different things as I can get my hands on. I think its all about taking the chance to try something new and if you don't like it...That's ok. Move on to something else.

        Food is an adventure and I love every minute of it

    2. About your comment "I have never understood why people like sweets, at all" that seems a bit overstated to me (since mother's milk is "sweet"). Now if you personally don't like sweets that one thing but to be confused as to why humanity has enjoyed sweet is beyond me. But on the other hand you state that you like chocolate (go figure).

      5 Replies
      1. re: Chinon00

        Not over stated at all, I do not like sweets, taste nor smell. While I cannot recall the taste of being breastfed, my mother does report that from an early stage I definately declined sweet tastes. On the other hand, give me a pickle, or something sour and I was happy. To me sweet is unpleasant. so I cannot understand why people like it.

        The chocolates I prefer at the very dark, bitter sweet ones.

        But you do seem to be making the point I was asking about; "thinking" the way one's own palate is, is the way it should be? Because "Mother's milk"( Is it sweet, I have no idea?) is sweet therefore we all have to like sweets to be "normal"?

        1. re: Quine

          No, of course not. But I still am perplexed NOT that an individual doesn't like sweets (to each his own), but that one would be shocked and surprised somehow that the human race can or does . The "mothers milk" reference is to state simply that nature desires to make nursing as agreeable as possible for newborns (I think we'd all agree with that). And since it is sweet then "sweet" must be agreeable to us as a species GENERALLY (according to your mother you were an exception).
          This is not to suggest that every human must like sweets but it should provide clear evidence how many humans appreciating sweets is an understandable (if not universal) outcome.

          1. re: Chinon00

            Well, breast milk is sweetish in mild milky kinda way, but not all that sweet. It also has a lot of natural glutamate. And I believe there is some evidence that baby's tastebuds change over time as part of their normal development.
            I don't disagree that (most) humans have an innate preference for sweet though. And that could have advantages beyond liking breast milk. But the guy who liked bitter/sour might be the one who figured out that various previously unconsidered foods were edible.

            1. re: julesrules

              I don't disagree with that either. But I think that unfortunately ego gets in the way with many a "foodie" and we are unable to admit that we've ever enjoyed less than non-obvious foods. To claim to "[not] understand" how HUMANITY could enjoy sweets is to me simply beyond the pale; an overstatement beyond words.

              1. re: Chinon00

                Oh my dear...please your words are so delightul...so filled of drama. But surely" what I said was "I have never understood why people like sweets, at all." I swear I never typed more than that. I am not sure I can spell "how HUMANITY could enjoy sweets is to me simply beyond the pale; an overstatement beyond words."

      2. I am quite good at tasting a dish and being able to tell in some detail what ingredients went into it. I am just beginning to learn that the people eating dinner with me rarely want to hear that information. I have a good palate. I may be a schmendrick but I have a good palate.

        1 Reply
        1. re: inuksuk

          Come eat with my dad and me. We make sort of a game of that. Frequently it's so we can go home and try to make it ourselves.

        2. In regard to taste buds, I recall reading many years ago in a human biology class that you develop one set of taste buds and that can determine your preference in foods. The "sets" were always salt and sweet vs bitter and sour. I, like you, am a bitter and sour. I love all of those horribly stinky cheeses, dark unsweetened chococlate, bitter greens...love it all! I have to cut the sugar by at leats half in every baked good recipe just to make it edible. Actually, I could easily live without desserts at all but take away one of my favorite food favorites such as kale or capers or gorgonzola and I'd be miserable.

          1. Bring it all on - salty, sweet, bitter, sour - there are very few foods I don't like. I definitely don't think I'm a super taster - more like somewhere in the middle. I love dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bitter greens, sharp cheeses. I love salty foods like great potato chips and I love good desserts (although I will admit that there is such a thing as too sweet...)