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Mar 18, 2009 08:18 AM

Flavor blind palates?

We all have had a friend who is color blind, I assume. We all know of deafness and blindness. My question is this.... Have any of you experienced or know someone who has a palate that is just "off"? I don't mean people who don't like the same things as you ....... more like when someone tastes the same food as you but comes away with a much different "flavor profile".

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  1. Oh hell yeah, check out the chowhound website about cilantro.

    1. "off palates" are the only way Applebees/Chilis/TGI Fridays/TJ McPicklePoopers, etc stay in business! and judging by the throngs of ashtrayed-tongued denziens, mobbing these places with far too much regularity........those with Tastebudparalasis are the majority!

      1 Reply
      1. re: nkeane

        <throngs of ashtrayed-tongued denziens>

        I have never heard it said better! Plus I have always wondered about those "fancy" places and their "cigar bars" how on earth can you enjoy the nuances of a fine wine or scotch whisky while smoking a cigar? ---- good grief...charlie brown

      2. I definitely think so.
        My DH honestly cannot pick up on the difference between a sauce I cooked for hours and put my heart and soul into - vs. a jar of Ragu.
        I get the same reaction from him whether I cook a wonderful veal picatta - or I serve hima frozen dinner.
        It's sad, I know, but it's really true...I don't know if I'd say his palate is "off" - or if that he just doesn't HAVE a palate.

        2 Replies
        1. re: NellyNel

          Although we are all born with one... it doesn't mean we know what to do with it!

          <we are talking about palates... huh?>

        2. I have a relative who loves processed, bland foods, but can also pick out the taste of 2 slices of bacon in a pot of bolognese that's been simmering for 3 hours. It's interesting. She enjoys eating and seems to appreciate good home cooking and processed premade equally.

          1. A friend of mine has no sense of smell (born that way), watching her likes and dislikes is interesting. Most people just figure that she's picky, but if you watch all of her "weirdness" is related to her tasting things pretty much purely via tastebud

            5 Replies
            1. re: jgg13

              That's funny that your friend can still taste....
              I met someone who had no sense of smell OR taste (I always thought they were intwined/ related) but I guess not!
              She was skinny as a bean.... the enjoyment of eating for her was all in the texture of the food.

              1. re: NellyNel

                Well, we have taste buds for a reason ;)

                What I find really interesting is that she generally pigeonholes various base tastes into specific situations. For instance, she has a sweet tooth, but "sweet" is *only* for dessert and that sort of thing, sweetness in a main course is a no-no.

                1. re: jgg13

                  Same here - friend w/ no sense of smell. She goes without sweets most of the time and then seemingly binges - because her threshold for being able to discern the sweetness at all is so, so high. She can perceive salty, too.

                  I'm always surprised that she doesn't just resort to a purely functional extreme health food diet since she's missing out on so much, and since I always think that's what I'd do in her sitch, but obviously I just can't relate.

                  1. re: jgg13

                    Maybe because she can't discern some of the savoury, sour, and/or umami flavours that are necessary to balance a sweet main? I like a lot of sweetish mains - salads with bitter greens and fruit, phad thai, bun, western meat with fruit dishes- but not if they are overwhelmingly sweet. There needs to be that balance and contrast and maybe it's too subtle for her.

                    1. re: julesrules

                      That was pretty much what I was getting at. If you're almost entirely just tasting things based off of the taste buds, a lot of that sort of subtlety gets lost.