Monday, September 21, 2009

All in good fun, but not always in good TASTE!

What's this all about, you ask? Click on the picture and find out - after you read this entry, natch ;-)

According to my calendar, it's Monday, so I'm going to return to my romp through the senses. I started out with smell; closely related to that is taste, since the two have a very subtle, yet profound, connection. One will confirm the other, good or bad, in the arena of food - and both can be knocked askew with a strong head cold. Believe me, I know. (lol)

Although one's tastes, both physical and mental, can and do change over time, our taste receptors (aka taste buds) are changing and regenerating constantly. I forget the actual timeline, but I think we have a whole new spectrum on the tongue, ready to mix and match taste, every two weeks or so. This comes in very hand when you take a bite of something scalding hot! (which is the very reason I like the water for my tea just beginning to boil, instead of boiling fast and furiously. This, then, would be an example of "mental" taste.)

To further combine the two tastes: growing up, macaroni and cheese, a traditional staple of childhood, was not only my favorite food, it was my sustenance. Looking back now, sometimes I wonder how I managed to subsist on it and it alone! (lol) I did manage to get of the mac-n-cheese rut in college, but it wasn't until after I'd graduated, and discovered this lovely company called Sunrider, that my taste buds were cleansed, and my preferences exploded. My father's genetic legacy unlocked within me, and I dove headlong into the world of Real Food. The one thing I didn't inherit from him was his love of ultra-spicy food. I prefer to let my taste buds heal naturally, and not to short-circuit them prematurely! (lol)
This year has seen/is seeing a significant shift in the way I'm eating. Although the smell of meat (cooking) still appeals to my olfactory sense, the taste of it is, well, rather "meh." Honestly? I can take it or leave it - and I'd rather leave it. Even tuna fish. Now that's saying something, since tuna fish stayed with me throughout my initial foray into vegetarianism. Sugar, now, is a bigger challenge. I still love sweet stuff, but I have to be way more selective about what, and how much, I ingest these days. The consequences of "overindulgence" are NOT pleasant...and now that I'm thinking about it, are starting to feel more like I did when I ingested alcohol for the first (and only!) time of my life!
As I've doubtless mentioned earlier, my watchwords these days are fresh and organic. Raw? Not really, though I rather enjoyed my raw food diet for a week, I must say. SOLE? Working on it. :-)

Now, as for the other taste, that of personal preference - the title of this little Mysterious Monday missive is my tag line in several of the online forums I frequent. Personal preference is wider ranging, and can be rather hit-and-miss at times; hence, my little "disclaimer." What I want to know is: what has happened to people's personal preferences? On the one hand, so many people seem to get SO bent out of shape over things that are actually quite funny. On the other hand, what people can consider "funny" these days makes me want to roll my eyeballs back into my head, now and again! (For examples of both in action, in the same forum, see Borat. If you dare.)

One final mystery to consider: how on earth can you take such widely, wildly varying and vibrant flavors and break them down into the four "simple" components of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter? Surely there is more to chicken curry and spotted dick, my dear Horatio, than is dreamt of in your kitchen!

With apologies to Shakespeare (and fingers crossed behind my back), I will leave it at that... ;-)

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