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Old 10-09-2011, 03:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gargon View Post
Thanks, that's kinda what I was after. Another question I have is how you develop your palate. Do you treat food and cooking in the same way you do wine? Do you sit there and personally judge each ingredient and then judge the dish afterwards? How do you distinguish individual flavors as opposed to the flavor of the finished product itself? To me, lasagna tastes like lasagne. I have a tough time "tasting" the spices in the sauce, the fat quantity in the ricotta (whole vs. reduced fat), and whether it uses ground beef or ground turkey. Some people claim that they can tell the difference between a low fat/low cal lasagna and a "high octane" one, but I can't tell if they are full of it, or whether I just have no idea what food tastes like, or maybe I do notice it, but not enough to distinguish what that little something different is. Is there a way to train your palate and learn flavors?
Ah, that's a question for Goodweed of the North. He can help you with that when he returns from spoiling his new grand daughter.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gargon View Post
Thanks, that's kinda what I was after. Another question I have is how you develop your palate. Do you treat food and cooking in the same way you do wine? Do you sit there and personally judge each ingredient and then judge the dish afterwards? How do you distinguish individual flavors as opposed to the flavor of the finished product itself? To me, lasagna tastes like lasagne. I have a tough time "tasting" the spices in the sauce, the fat quantity in the ricotta (whole vs. reduced fat), and whether it uses ground beef or ground turkey. Some people claim that they can tell the difference between a low fat/low cal lasagna and a "high octane" one, but I can't tell if they are full of it, or whether I just have no idea what food tastes like, or maybe I do notice it, but not enough to distinguish what that little something different is. Is there a way to train your palate and learn flavors?

I feel like your original question is pretty hard to come up with a "one size fits all" answer. . . just like developing your palate.

There is SO much variety in food, both cooking and technique. . .there are a million an six different ways to do many of the same thing. Sure, there are some fundamentals to know, and grasp the jest of, but things may be different from culture to culture, hose hold to hose hold, kitchen to kitchen, etc. . .

The only way to develop your palate it to eat. Plain and simple. Eat. Take notes. See how food parings work, and understand the concept of umami. Like fine wine, wiskey/whiskey, bourbon, rum, vodka, cheese, fungus, chocolate, tea, coffee, salts, even water, one could say that almost anything/everything, has levels of complexity and character. Ultimately, it is up to you and YOUR palate, but you should have an understanding of how acids cut fats, how butter makes for the best mouth feel, how Sea Salt is more briny and full if flavor, how you can tell malolactic fermentation between non. . .I mean, you can go on and on, all day long. As you experiment, and play with things, you will really begin to pick up on the subtle things. You will learn what accentuates others. How you train your palate is up to you. Understanding each of the individual components will help you understand the big picture.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:27 PM   #13
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I think 15% of the population has more taste glands (are they glands?
) on the tongue. These people have a more sensitive sense of smell and, as a result, a more sensitive sense of tastes. I have a pronounced sense of smell and can taste things others cannot. I guess I'm in that 15%. I can also smell BBQ in the air when the community near where I live (8 miles away) is having the community BBQ (as long as the wind is right). This oddity makes my husband laugh. I can also tell if I've been on a dirt road before by the taste of the dust in the air (this I've done at night--my brother finds this hilarious). At times, this heightened sense of smell is not a good thing--if I smell s/thing rotten, I gag/suffer dry heaves. Not pleasant. Can it be trained? It is probably like color memory--you can refine it with practice. How? by eating and tasting things.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TATTRAT View Post
I feel like your original question is pretty hard to come up with a "one size fits all" answer. . . just like developing your palate.

There is SO much variety in food, both cooking and technique. . .there are a million an six different ways to do many of the same thing. Sure, there are some fundamentals to know, and grasp the jest of, but things may be different from culture to culture, hose hold to hose hold, kitchen to kitchen, etc. . .

The only way to develop your palate it to eat. Plain and simple. Eat. Take notes. See how food parings work, and understand the concept of umami. Like fine wine, wiskey/whiskey, bourbon, rum, vodka, cheese, fungus, chocolate, tea, coffee, salts, even water, one could say that almost anything/everything, has levels of complexity and character. Ultimately, it is up to you and YOUR palate, but you should have an understanding of how acids cut fats, how butter makes for the best mouth feel, how Sea Salt is more briny and full if flavor, how you can tell malolactic fermentation between non. . .I mean, you can go on and on, all day long. As you experiment, and play with things, you will really begin to pick up on the subtle things. You will learn what accentuates others. How you train your palate is up to you. Understanding each of the individual components will help you understand the big picture.

I often wondered if people actually tasted the same things, or they just read or heard that they are supposed to experience something a certain way and then because they had it in their subconscious, thought exactly that as they tasted it, or on some level, they really did capture hints of different flavors, textures, or finishes.

I am not looking for the be all, end all answer to my questions, but the bulb that shines the light in the right direction is highly welcomed. Thanks again
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:42 AM   #15
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I know this is all very personal opinion. In my opinion, I suspect that those with MORE taste glands probably prefer fewer foods, that is to say, are fussier eaters. I think I got that impression from a "galloping gourmet" show done with his wife. If I remember right, (and I might not), she could perceive each individual flavor, and the heat was more hot for her (she had more of the taste glands). Whereas he liked more dishes. For example, if you absolutely hate thyme, that is all you taste if there's a pinch of it in a dish. To me, it seems like more taste sensors in your mouth, because I can only differentiate thyme as a part of the whole.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:10 AM   #16
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Interesting theory on liking fewer foods. I do have a lower tolerance for "hot" than my DH who has a terrible sense of smell...but I enjoy most foods. I don't like fishy fish, bananas (the smell is too much), and I hate the texture, pears (texture), sardines, lutefisk (again, both are texture). Smoked eel is also something I don't like--too oily. I can't think of any spices or herbs that turn my stomach.
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