Sunday 6 February 2011

On arriving at a universal consensus on taste

Taste buds and food go hand-in-hand, no doubt but can one arrive at a common ground on taste. Is it possible that my definition of tasty food might not actually be yours. Many a times I find myself staring at food which is proclaimed to be tasty ( now I am not speaking of different cultures, here) but is a let down for me in terms of taste and sight. Did I mention that the sight of food is a great turn on for me rather than just the taste? The colours, textures and smell are like a prologue to me, before I start the process of actual eating. It is for the reasons mentioned earlier that I find it difficult to eat in the dark. I need to see and feast my eyes on the food before I feast my tongue and stomach. So much so.

Now coming back to the subject of universal taste, I wonder if the definition of 'tasty food' differs from one individual to the other. I can understand when the notion of 'tasty food' is diverse for different cultures but does the notion abound for individuals connected by the same culture. I definitely think it is. Now there is another string attached to this. Food cooked by mothers always carry universal value to the children. For me, sadly, it is not so. Food, for me is independent of sentiments and other values. I cannot appreciate food just because it is cooked by someone very special. Well, I might sound harsh when saying this but believe me there are disadvantages when you falsely commend something that is not, er, quite delectable. You will be forced to eat food that you don't fancy, just because you made a polite (false) remark unknowingly.

After having said and done with everything, I am quick to pronounce that though the definition of 'tasty' might be universal for some food dishes, it cannot be so for every single dish. After all, taste lies in the tongue of the taster!!

Well, your valuable thoughts on universal taste and food.

Image: Internet


  1. i love all food, although some like my bride are turned off by flavours, i love them. of course blue food is known to be a instinctive turn off, as it represents rotten food. all that aside, what's for dinner

  2. My taste buds are easy! They are the tart of the senses and will devour anything thrown in front of them. Except maybe blood sausage.

    Cheers A

  3. I enjoy eating. Taste buds vary from person to person and culture to culture. I love the taste and the feeling one gets when you bite into a sweet and sour candy!
    You come up with the most interesting topics!

  4. Sight Smell and Taste all go hand and hand for me. I agree with you susan I can't realty to people that think there mothers food is the best ever just because "mum" made it. Great article

  5. I couldn't agree more on how importable it is for the food to "look tasty!"

    Ya.. it is impossible to come to a common consensus on how food tastes. Now. with the experience of working for a food review blog...All I can say is never thought it would be so difficult! :|

  6. oh i agree and i have been blessed with a wide flavor is so much more than just taste as well...

  7. I agree with what is said in your last paragraph: there are food dishes that are considered universally tasty, but not every single dish.

    As for mother's food - Yes, it has a very special place in my life. I grew up with it, it's part of me. However, nowadays I choose to prepare and eat only the more healthy version of mother's dishes.

  8. I was intrigued by the Subject Line of this post.

    My view? There can't be an arriving at a universal consensus on taste. Same as so many universal consensus's are impossible.

    -As to taste, we each have our own tongue, which works for us, in its individual way.

    -And we each are a product of our own environment, no matter how much some may want to "act-Universal." :-)

    -And why need we all be Universal, on most anything? Why can't we be individual?

    -As long as no one tries to set up *his/her Way,* as the one-and-only-Way.

    -Isn't our glorious diversity, part of the Spice Of Life?

    Hugs and ♥'s...
    'Cause Valentine Day is coming!

  9. I belive in individual tastes..and lets let people have some semblence of individuality :)

    btw, nice blog....will keep coming for more

  10. I try to be open-minded, but there are just some foods that don't appeal to me at all.

  11. I have never been very picky and i love food. I will eat anything, but of course, I enjoy certain food more then other. Sometimes the company makes the food taste delicious, or the place it is served at.
    I agree with you that the presentation, the scent, the colours - they all add so much, it is often this complete experience that effects the taste.;)
    Hope you will eat something delicious for dinner today dear Susan,

  12. I agree on the fact that food must look inviting for me to even begin to forward it to my mouth. But, what gets me even more than looks, is the odor of food. If a dish looks so inviting, but has a smell that is uninviting, it will NOT enter my palate:) I have a thing about smells. I remember when we raised hairless sheep for meat. I could not cook it because of the smell! It didn't matter to me how great it tasted, I could 'taste' the 'smell', if that makes any sense:)

  13. Hey you kinda stole my avatar here with that pic! LOL
    Oh tasting smelling... and of course the sight or appearance of it... We cannot eat through the eyes but they help us choose.
    I die for salads and salty food rather than sweet, except for chocolate, of course. I like trying new food, but find it hard to eat too spicy ones
    Great one again SuSAN!

  14. I totally agree with you on the taste lies in the tongue of the taster.
    When I was little I loved to go visit friends and eat their food. I loved it!!! my aunt would get mad at me because I was such picker eater. Something about being in a different place.

  15. interesting how you should post a topic on food when I did the same at my new blog titled..Do you eat to live or live to eat?

    I agree, universally tasty foods would only apply to some.

    Food is also another way to express your creative talents by making it visually appealing as well.

    wonderful post!

    if you like
    check out my new blog at

  16. There are three primary things that create memories for most of us. Although there are many sub-categories, those three are usually taste, smell and sound. I call them Comfort Memories when they're an amalgamation of one or more of those three.

    For instance, the sound of my Mom's voice on a lazy weekend morning as she is making breakfast for our family and the scent of bacon frying, biscuits baking, eggs being cooked, fresh fruit and fresh juice on the table...then the eventual explosion of flavors as we consume that meal. Combine that with the scent of my Mom's perfume when I hug her to thank her for the great meal, the sound of laughter and conversation all combines to produce a Comfort Memory for me. There are millions of these stored away in my mind and heart, each slightly different, yet branded eternally in my memory and highlighted by those sensory triggers.

    ~ Dawn

  17. I cannot agree the taste is independent of sentimentality. Leave mother, any food that is prepared out of sincerity and love will taste better! Taste is more or less matter of mind

    If the food is too much spicy I would be grounded.

    And the photo, it sends out the wrong message...well atleast for me!!

  18. Taste definitely differs from person to person Susan. And I cant agree that people with same culture will have the same taste. It will definitely differ. For example, last week I went to a restaurant near by with my neighbor. She is from Chennai too. We both ordered coconut water for our drink. I loved it so much, but dint like it a bit. We both love coconut water, we know that. I missed it so much here in a foreign land and even if it was artificial, I loved the taste of it. But the fact that it was artificial made her dislike it I guess. So taste does have a connection to mind. And when loved ones cook for me, I have never been disappointed Susan. As I said it depends on mind. I connect it with the love they have for me and it obviously tastes better for me. May be that's not the case with you. Opinions differ.

    Have a good day Susan.


  19. I always wonder how my husband can savor almost anything. I can't think of anything he doesn't like. His taste buds sing at the touch of diverse flavors and he relishes each morsel. Me on the other hand, I'm more selective. I dislike strong spices and am reserved when it comes to trying new dishes. I do love food though and my waist attests to that.

    Hope each meal you eat nourishes not only your body but also your spirit.

  20. For me, tasty is associated with "fresh" and a certain depth of flavor. That flavor might come from preparation, but it probably also comes from the quality of soil that first supported the life that's now on my plate.

    Fun discussion. :)

  21. Hi Susan

    I've noticed that the same food may taste different depending on how hungry I am.

    Take care and have a nice day :-)


  22. Hi Susan! Saw your note over at my place, thanks for stopping by. I hope all is well with you and your side of the world! I am doing well. Wonderful for you to visit, I have been a little lost in visiting all my favorite blogs like yours. Sorry. Hope to be better with stopping in and saying hello. I like the new look of your blog or new to me at least. Nice and clean.

    Food, love it. But it is the whole experience for me too, sight, smell and then taste. With sight leading the way for me wanting to even try what is being presented to me. I guess I am like a child in that sense, if it looks yucky I might not want it, despite how good it is said to be. LOL

    Take care friend,


  23. Susan oh Susan! Do you know how crazy I am with food? I'm a food fanatic but wait a moment there because not in everything though. My taste buds tickle for those whip-appetizing, deliciously aromatic food that always send my stomach rumbling. But I can be fussy too so it's not always I like to eat what's serve in front of me no matter how a fan of food I am. Thanks for sharing the post with us.:)Cheers!

  24. Alan:

    Blue food? Now what's that?


    A tart! Well, Blood sausage sounds yummm.

  25. Savira:

    Absolutely, Sav. Thanks for the kind words.


    Glad that you hear me. Thanks for the kind words. They are highly appreciated.

  26. Sameera:

    Food review blog sounds interesting. then, do you sample different kinds of food? Interesting work, hun.


    Sometimes, it is not just the taste alone but it depends.

  27. DUTA:

    I love my mother's food as well but certain other mother's food, I am pretty fussy.


    Welcome and glad to have you over. I love your name. Your questions are quite valid and true. Sometimes people of similar culture are assumed to have similar tastes and likes. Another kind of stereotying which I detest and contest.
    Thanks for your worthy insights. Come again when you have the time.
    Joy always :)

  28. RP:

    Thanks for the insight. Please do come by more often. It will be a joy to have you here.


    After a long time. Glad. I love experimenting but taste, I should be able to digest.

  29. Zuzana:

    I love food too. But I love taste too so my definition of taste belongs to me and I cannot allow anyone to alter that one. Presentation, oh yes, anytime :)


    Smell, you are so true on that one. It is the same with me. All said and done, my definition of smell might be different from yours. Each one, his/her own.
    Thanks for coming by dear Mary. A joy to have you here.

  30. Dulce:

    Avatar, yes. I love you enough to have your presence always on my blog. Hugs, dear one. Thanks for your ever kind words, dearest. I value and treasure your visits here.


    Quite true.

  31. Hope:

    I should swing by your blog. Thanks for the lovely words, Hope.


    I am glad you revisited your memories as you read this post. Afterall memories maketh us. Joy to read your insights, dear Dawn.

  32. John:

    (Winks) Pervert John, I know what you are thinking. I have to disagree with you on this. Sometimes even the food prepared with sincerity can be devoid of taste. But tell me, how does one prepare food with sincerity? Is there something like that?


    Glad that you hear me just right. Thanks for coming by, dear Sukanya. Have a lovely rest of the week.

  33. Myrna:

    Glad to see your comment. You were missed. Your husband must be a saint, then. I wonder how there are some people who can savour almost anything. Thanks for the kind wishes, dear Myrna. I wish the same to you.


    Glad to see you Barkat. What joy! Fresh is also one criterion for me. Thanks for coming by and saying nice things. Love :)

  34. Ron:

    Yes :)

    You have a great remainder of the week, dear Ron.


    How nice to see you here! Long time. You have definitely come after a long time as I changed my layout long long ago :)Being a child is absolutely wonderful. You take good care, dear Cole. Joy always.

  35. Jorie:

    Welcome here again. You are like me. Cheers and joy to you as well. Big hugs :)



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