Sunday, 3 October 2010

Tongue in cheek?? Nah!

Sometimes when one is not in control of food that is available for consumption, the realisation that the tongue has a separate personality comes into being. In Tamil, people use the phrase "My tongue is dead" to refer to ill-treatment of the tongue by the quality of food; The food that is served is so bad that it has caused the death of the tongue's ability to taste (metaphorically of course). Well, one comes to know about the tongue only when an individual is in a situation where the food has to be eaten for the sake of survival and not for taste.

But a person who loves food not only for survival's sake but also for the food's smell, taste and texture will surely find his/her mettle tested when forced into a place where the food is not exactly to one's taste. And this is what I found out when I recently shifted from home to another place. Eating the same food everyday for breakfasts and lunches has rendered the tongue quite 'dead.' More than the actual food, the predictability makes the tongue suffer.

Maybe as an individual, I can pacify myself by saying that food eaten is only for survival but alas! my tongue does not think so. The tongue demands that it be served tasty food at least once a while, if not everyday. There have been days when the tongue refuses to be satisfied. It is almost as if the tongue will go on strike if the food does not scale to its taste. I am rendered powerless in controlling the tongue and in turn the reverse happens.

How often I think that certain organs of the body function independently! The tongue is the most notorious for functioning like that. It demands, coaxes, pleads and curses if the food is not to its standards. I cannot control that teeny-weeny muscle. People talk about controlling the tongue when it comes to speech. But speech and food, I reckon, is the domain of that wee muscle.

Now if I start about the heart controlling the human existence, I can go on and on. Let me pause.

Do you think that your tongue controls you when it comes to food? Do you feel tamed by its demands and tastes? What is food to you: taste, means of survival or just another mundane activity?

Image: Internet


  1. This post made me laugh; you indeed have a very determined tongue.;) And I love the expressions here.;)
    I try very hard to control my tongue.;) But I do slip from time to time, like yesterday when I definitely overindulged in bursts of taste (sugar and fat;)
    Have a lovely Sunday,

  2. I liked the cartoon very much. :)

    I enjoyed reading the post. :)

    The information is first para is very interesting. :)

    Have a lovely Sunday!

  3. To me food is taste, of course... but when I am in a hurry I know it's more a means of survival... I don't think it's the tongue which controls but the stomach. I wonder though, what it would be like if i could not taste food, if everything was the same and i just had to swalow it, if i could not distinguish sweet from bitter, salty from spicy, etc...
    Oh! I love the taste and the smell of good meals ( no matter how healthy or unhealthy!)


  4. i am pretty eclectic when it comes to taste...if i ate for survival i could probably lose the 10 pounds i need to though. i enjoy food, but i can control my tongue...i think.

  5. I guess you've never stayed in hostel in your college days, may be thats the reason !

    Staying in hostel for more than 5yrs (n still continuing), I'm habituated to the dishes served even-though they are worst. But once in a week i go to a restaurant, try some new items. One good part in having hostel food is that you can reduce your size :P [forced diet :)]

  6. Taste is very important to me. I consider myself a fairly decent cook and am disappointed if food does not meet my high standards.

    With that said, sometimes the tongue can only be satisfied by that burger, fries and chocolate shake!

  7. I live by the opposite of this maxim..

    "All that is loved by the Tongue and the Lips,
    It all goes straight to the Tummy and the Hips!"


  8. No doubt about it.
    Like some one said once it passes the throat, all food is the same.
    It is taste buds, aroma and sight that makes us want to try out different variety.

  9. Man should never allow his "heart" to control his tongue or anything else.

    "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9

  10. Don't think my tongue is the only culprit in my lack of control. I think my mind, my stomach and even my emotions conspire and lead me to enjoy delicious food.

    Rarely do I eat just to survive. How grateful I am.

    I love your thoughts. You are funny, but I think there's wisdom behind your humor.

    Sorry, you are eating boring food. Hope you can find pleasure in other things. Take care.

  11. To me food is taste apart from a daily basic nutritional need that keeps you alive.
    I cannot control my "tongue" sometimes though.
    Another delightful post, Susan, funny and well written.

    Betty xx

  12. Many a times, my tongue does want me to dive into "tasty" food. I cannot remain on a bland food diet for more than 3 days at a stretch. The tongue tortures me to break it atleast for a day. I am a slave of my tongue.

  13. To me, food is a delight and a pleasure. I love to cook... and I love to eat... and I love the smell of food... and spices... and baking bread... and steeping tea. Food is also for survival, yes, but oh my! I love to enjoy my meals. When I am in a place where the food falls short, I begin to become impatient, and I long for returning home where I can prepare a meal that satisfies my palate.

    And now, my mouth is watering... because you've made me think about food, dear Susan. What to do with you? ;-)

    A delightful and scrumptious post!

    Warm hugs,

  14. Smell? Sure!
    Taste? Yep!
    Texture? Well...
    Skip a meal(s)? ANYTIME!
    Stomach? Deal with it, don't eat!

    Survival? For weeks, I 'survived' on a vitamin pill, two raw eggs, little o.j., and a healthy 4-5 oz VODKA. What a breakfast! Maybe a burger at night...

    (Ended up with two heart attacks between ages 32-35--none since!)

    HERSHEY BARS (regular, 8 oz.) ANY TIME, bring 'em on! (whisper: help...need!)

    Well, Susan Deborah, you asked--grin!

    Steve E

  15. Dear Susan,

    Hello! Welcome to my blog! I'm glad you found it and nice to meet you.^^

    ...mmmnnn.. i eat a lot so yes... though i still look slim [except for my tummy..!!!;P]...i love eating so's one thing i can't easily resist... for me, food is simply a 'need' and not a 'want'... but unfortunately, many go with the latter...^^

    Thank you for lettin' yourself be part of my li'l space... your blog is very factual and interesting... i'm very pleased to follow back...!!!(^^)b..

    Good day!!!:)


  16. There was a time when people had no much choice with the food and had to go about with thesame type 2-3 times a day.
    And if you are starved the same food will aste like manna

    Is it the abundance that makes our tongue dead

  17. Zuzana:

    I'm glad that you laughed Zuzana. Zuzana, I can control my tongue from eating but not from taste. Confusing??? Well . . .


    I liked the cartoon too :) Thanks for visiting dear CS.

  18. Dulce:

    There are different points in the tongue to identify different tastes and that is so cool! Food is something that is primal to the human society.


    Talking about pounds is strictly prohibited here :) Grin.

  19. Vignesh:

    Yes, my first time in a hostel! You have Tiffanys right inside the campus and that chat shop, so don't complain!


    Would love to sample your food sometime :) More than satisfaction, I want my tongue to be alive!

  20. Karishma:

    Hmmmm. We are Epicureans when it comes to food!


    Quite true :)

  21. Ron:



    We are all grateful for that dear Myrna. Thanks for humbly reminding this fact of life.

  22. Betty:

    You are doing just right!


    Three days! For me it is the entire week on bland food.

  23. Nevine:

    I would have loved to cook to, if that was an option but sadly, it is not. Enjoying meals, is my pleasure to and that is why I am a bit restless now. Hope you had lovely food cooked by you after this post!

    Big hugs back to you dearest.


    What an eclectic list! Hersheys! yes!

  24. Kelvin:

    Thanks for coming here and the following. It is much appreciated. You are lucky to remain slim inspite of all that eating. Unlike me!!! Thanks for your kind words. Hope to see more of you.

    Joy always.


    I like the way you always play Devil's Advocate. Abundance? Not exactly. Even if I eat a simple meal, I prefer it to be tasty. Get the difference?

    Have a lovely week ahead with lots of love and joy :)

  25. Food is fundamental to me, not just for taste but for sharing. It starts when we're babies, that first meal at our mother's breasts, or at least in her arms, or her equivalent's arms.

    I'm here through Zuzana. And it's good to meet you.

  26. In Indonesia there is a saying that says "The tongue is not reinforced" for food .......... but my tongue is always punctured the bone, but I like it ....... thanks.

  27. nice blog...

    please visit my blog and follow .. thanks

  28. Elisabeth:

    Glad to have you in the meanderings and reflections. Welcome. What you have expressed here is quite true. Good to meet you too dear Elisabeth. Hoping to see more of you :) Joy always.


    Indonesia is quite close to our place. Welcome here and glad to read your insights. And what a saying! Thanks for visiting, Soul. Hoping to see more of you.


    Welcome here. Thanks for the nice words. Shall soon come over to your place.

  29. Ah, hostel can render any tongue useless... but that's where the brain becomes stronger, tells us to carry on and reach the distance no matter what the tongue, heart or any other part says. But yes, am particular to certain food... can never make my peace with fish or seafood, but am not sure whether my tongue has any say in it though. I think the brain rules all of me...

  30. The brain, yes but it is comical and nice to think that our tongue rules when it comes to food!

    Nice to see a comment from you after long dear Karen.

    Joy always :)

  31. Fun(ny) post.
    Never thought of food and tongue that way. Guess I never associated the two!
    Actually, I think that if we let the tongue controlled our food intake (provided there was a choice), we would be healthier. Overeating is usually a control and lack of control issue.
    I laughed reading this.

  32. Myriam:

    Glad you liked it. For me it's the other way round. If I allow my tongue to master me, it always ends up getting the better of me! Happy to see you around dear Myriam. Joy always.

  33. FOOOOD! Reminds me of Joey in friends.

    Food or sex. Food, sex, food, sex... LOL! I love, relish and enjoy food and you just got me excited. WOnderful things your posts do, Susan. <3

  34. Mridula:

    How nice to see you! You of course enjoy food, but what about the other? Lol!
    And thanks for the nice words. They have given a wonderful impetus for the coming hours :)

  35. Think about it this way, you are lucky to go home on weekends gorge on tasty food :P I went home once in 4 months!! Bad girl

    I love food, the aroma, the taste, the texture the feel.. I enjoy whatever is on my plate...

  36. Ash:

    Now I have adjusted, you see. I like the way we are quite adaptable to situations.

    More than the actual chewing, the sights, smells and textures are the tempters (like in "Murder in the Cathedral" by T. S. Eliot).

    Big hugs dearest Ash :)

  37. the chorus in Murder in the Cathedral gave got me that junior fellowship in a way :D
    I lvvvvvvvv eliot and Chandran :D



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