The Fussy Foodie
I have a confession to make. I’m a fussy foodie. But eager to change all preconceived notions of what I don’t like the taste of, most stemming from childhood, I’m on the path of reform and tackling one ingredient at a time.
“Eww,” I say, screwing up my nose as my husband pierces his egg, the golden yolk flowing like molten lava over rashers of crispy bacon and soaking into his Turkish toast.
I wish I liked runny eggs, I love the idea of eating a perfectly-poached morsel, or channelling my inner-child and enjoying a soft-boiled egg and soldiers for breakfast. But nope, I can’t stand it, and believe me, I’ve tried.
At birth, you have about 10,000 taste buds, but after the age of 50, you may start to lose them. Contrary to popular belief, that the taste cells which respond to different tastes (salty, bitter, sweet, sour and umami) are in separate regions of the tongue, they are in fact scattered throughout the tongue, which allows the flavours of food and drink to be fully experienced and appreciated.
It is also suggested that children need to try a new food at least 10 times before they change their mind.”
During childhood, we’re introduced to different flavours and textures, and this first experience with a certain type of food can contribute to our desire to eat it again in the future. A recent study found a “negative physiological state such as tiredness, illness or negative mood by parents are thought to impair children’s enjoyment of eating”, which explains why so many children dislike eating vegetables when they are “forced” to eat them at dinner time.
It is also suggested that children need to try a new food at least 10 times before they change their mind, despite parents typically giving up on offering foods that have been rejected three or more times.
I recently made a promise to myself to be more adventurous and revisit foods I ‘hated’, to see if there was any truth to the theory taste buds change every seven years, or maybe even as adults we need to try a new food at least 10 times.
It was also important to me, as someone who loves to cook and has a great respect for food, that I immerse myself as much as I can, always saying yes when something is offered, rather than automatically reverting to the response, “I don’t like that”.
I started with mushrooms and asparagus, which were two veggies I had long avoided, I think the latter stemmed from trying tinned asparagus on toast as a child (life lesson – veggies in a can are seldom a good idea). But I’ve come to discover that the fresh kind, lightly sauteed with a drizzle of olive oil (or butter if you’re so inclined), a sprinkle of salt, pepper, chilli and garlic, is absolutely delicious.
And mushrooms are just divine, especially for breakfast with all the trimmings – just make sure that egg is cooked through. Please.
Taste the rainbow...
Red and orange make people hungry, impulsive and excited. This is why so many fast-food chains use these colours in their branding and decor. Red is also associated with sweetness; a German study found people who drank identical glasses of wine under red lighting said the wine was sweeter, compared to people who drank the same wine under white or blue lights.
Green induces thirst. “The first people to use this as a basis for their brand colours was Sizzler. Drinks were not included and they wanted to encourage people to buy them,” food blogger Lorraine Elliott said. These days, green is also associated with being healthy and wholesome.
Yellow makes people happier, when you see the colour, your brain releases a chemical called serotonin, which makes you feel good. So the more optimistic you are, the more likely you are to indulge and spend more money on your meal.
Blue is one of the most unappetising colours in food. This was proven when a group of people ate a blue-dyed steak in a dark room with no complaints, but once the lights were turned on and they saw the colour, some were physically sick. There is also a theory if you put a blue light in your fridge or eat on blue crockery, it suppresses your appetite.
White is associated with being empty, and can trick you into mindless overeating. Food eaten on a white plate also appears to taste better than from a