Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How Do Taste Buds Determine Likes and Dislikes?

Why do our tastes in foods change? In fact, why do we have likes and dislikes at all?

As a child, I distinctly remember not liking broccoli.

Dinner in my house was typical dual-working parents fare and broccoli was a quick, easy green to add to any meal. So we had broccoli. All. The. Time.

Resembling a grade schooler’s crude drawing of a forest, the dull green flowers of broccoli littered the plate, their stalks slightly brown from over cooking. Add chicken breast or a piece of steak and some sort of carb and *WHAMMO* you’ve got dinner.

I’d make quick work of the protein and carb, but I’d dawdle over the broccoli. I’d push it around the plate a little and ask if I was done.


Then I’d cut it up into tiny pieces, take one or two infinitesimal bites, then make two perfectly symmetrical mounds with a trench like area in the middle and proclaimed myself full and done (brushing my hands together as I walked away).

Now, as an adult, I can’t get enough of it. I love broccoli. A little salt, a little pepper, and some butter. Mmmm, mmm. Why? How does that happen?

And it works the other way, too.

As a kid, I loved root beer. Won’t touch the stuff today. Same with cottage cheese. But I’m coming back around to that. With fresh salsa, it’s pretty good.

P.Pie went to a little sandwich shop here in the Mile High city, Chedd's Gourmet Grilled Cheese. They have a plethora of cheeses and a variety of meats, as well as rave reviews for their sandwiches.

So she orders the Heartburn Sandwich - horse radish cheddar, roast beef, onion, sauerkraut, and spicy mustard on a white rustic roll. Yeah, I know. You don’t have to say it.

Twenty minutes later, the twins are twisting and turning. It's a regular Womboree in there.

P.Pie turns to me and says, “I don’t think the twins like sauerkraut.”

Perhaps that’s how taste buds determine likes and dislikes.