What is the science behind taste-bud evolution? Or changes in food preferences?
I’m sure I can google that and find a citation-lacking wikipedia article with a scientific explanation; but my Firefox might crash if I dare open another tab
The gist of what I am trying to say: How interesting it is that some of our food preferences evolve as we age; and how there are some which remain the same- and what role environment plays in the shaping of these preferences?
I, for one was an incredibly picky child; the list of things I would eat could be surmised in one breath: (white) bread and butter, pasta with bechamel/alfredo/any white sauce, McDonalds quarter pounders w/ fries, filet mignon, oreos & peanut butter, kiwis, walkers monster munchie crisps, and gushers.
Of course there were the other related items; namely recess snacks made by Walker’s, Nabisco, Cadbury, or Philadelphia (anyone remember those CHEESECAKE bars?); and I was that child who made friends by sharing my S’mores Ritz sandwiches.
Despite the prevalence of what would now be deemed “processed and nutritionally void” snacks, my mother was still an advocate of healthy eating and these snacks would be the prized treat of the day. My elementary lunches tended to be koshary (Egyptian rice with lentils/hot sauce/yogurt salad), hummus with pita (before it became trendy, mind you), PB&J on whole grain bread (I only pretended to like the wholemeal bread because my best friend, Maya did), and I rarely ever forked over the ten dirhams for the very subpar cafeteria fare.
Plus I thought tater tots were weird…and still do
Regardless of our daily packaged snack consumption, Nora and I were very healthy, active, and vibrant children- we ate what we wanted (which sometimes was tabbouleh or fruit salad) and were oblivious to nutritional composition/facts/stigmas. How refreshing, right? It actually scares me how nowadays young children are so exposed to the concept of ‘good and bad foods,’ but as that is cliche and off-topic I will not delve there.
Nowadays, however, I fully admit that I cannot remember the last time I ate a bag of crisps or a pack of Oreos. I have tried them, sure, but they just do not taste the same as I remembered. Too salty, too sweet, too energy-depleting. I am no fun on “roadtrips,” I won’t go into the petrol station for a half litre of coke and Doritos- I’ll stick to my baby bries and dried mango. Sometime in my adolescence, I went through several reevaluations of my approach to food and within a few years was able to strike a balance between health and personal preferences– and discover a previously unearthed passion for the creative aspects of it.
Yes, I am somewhat of a food snob (and afford it by searching what’s on sale at all my favourite grocers/buying one less pair of shoes per month); but in my mind that is an improvement from being a calorie-snob. I consume plenty of cheeses, cakes, chocolates, and fancy oils; but in true balance I also crave and make sure to get in all my greens and proteins. Contrary to misguided magazine-doled advice, I do eat late at night; copious amounts of Dave’s Killer Bread SinDawg with Fage 2%, and I love it and wouldn’t trade Dave’s company for Debbie, Betty, or Duncan.
But, a few things which have NOT changed (and probably never will)? My distaste for celery, goat cheese, and fishy things.
And yes, I am that person who will occasionally order a salad at a college sports bar (in my defense I hadn’t had dinner yet so I needed a balanced meal):
And, since it’s a sports bar they will still give you copious amounts of honey mustard dressing and garlic cheese bread on the side. I asked if they had balsamic and olive oil and the waitress just looked at me as if I was from Mars.
For $7.00, it was a decent and fillling albeit RIDICULOUSLY salty (I honestly don’t even know how considering I’m talking about the salad prior to dressage).
But, I do sometimes go for the chicken wings…you know when there’s a Blazers game on or something:
Point of this whole post: I really have no idea. I just wanted an excuse to post that childhood picture of my sister and I at McDonalds; so there’s 800 words of it for ya. Peace, love, and ketchup packets
So tell me: How have your taste/food preferences changed throughout your life?
Have the changes been due to external/environmental influences? Events in your life? Illnesses/newfound allergies that had to result in dietary reevaluation?
What did your childhood lunchbox have in it?