You probably loathed many foods as a child, but as you grew, you developed a taste for some of them. That’s because your palate evolves. You might now love foods for which you never cared in the past.
You can actually train your taste buds to enjoy certain foods more. If you’ve always wanted to be a foodie and appreciate more sophisticated dishes, you can learn a thing or two about cultivating your palate.
Even if you’re not a picky person, developing a taste for more foods will benefit the rest of your life. The world is full of flavorful foods that you have not yet tried.
You don’t want to miss out on experiences just because your taste preferences aren’t open to new possibilities. Adopt the following tactics to evolve your palate more swiftly.
Engage in Repetition
If you don’t like a particular food now, that doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. We have 10,000 taste buds in our mouth, equipped with between 50 and 100 taste cells and receptors.
They communicate with your brain to assess whether you like something you’re tasting or not, but they become less sensitive over time. That means foods you might not have liked when you were younger may appeal to you now.
Research also indicates that these taste receptors can adapt to new foods if you’re willing to facilitate the process. By repeatedly trying new foods, especially those you believe you don’t like, your buds will sometimes adapt eventually, and you can enjoy foods that were once unwelcome.
So if you’re after a more sophisticated palate, start by trying foods you don’t like. Eat at least one unappealing food per day in order to work toward a palate that’s more accepting of foods. Try new foods often, as well, to get your mouth accustomed to various textures and flavors.
Eat at Fancy Restaurants
You’ll never develop what’s known as a sophisticated palate if you don’t surround yourself with sophisticated foods. If you’re used to eating fast food or homemade American-style cuisine, your taste buds won’t be piqued by some of the fancier dishes across the earth.
For example, truffles are one of the most unique and expensive foods in the world. They’re highly popular among more sophisticated restaurants. But many people not attuned to this unique fungi don’t enjoy its taste.
Those who seek to cultivate a more sophisticated palate will have to visit a fancy restaurant more often to try a food like truffles that is uncommon elsewhere.
Be More Creative in Your Food Choices
American food is notoriously bland. When your palate gets used to eating such foods constantly, it may develop little interest in unique flavors. A little alteration in the way you cook food can make a big difference.
Invest in a new array of spices for your kitchen; pull from popular cuisine around the world. Try adding curry powder to your chicken, ginger to your carrots, and Greek seasoning to your pasta. Infiltrate your foods with a little spice, and try sweet and sour mixtures.
When you go to a restaurant, look for the most interesting item on the menu. We often let ourselves get stuck in a routine of eating the most familiar foods, and fail to allow ourselves a creativity that enables our taste buds to soar.
Reduce Sugar and Salt Intake
The average American consumes between 2,000 and 8,000 milligrams of salt per day, which is shocking when you recognize that a healthy diet requires no more than 1,500 milligrams a day. Sugar is also a huge problem, since the average American eats two to three pounds of sugar every week.
Sugar and salt intake has a huge impact on our dietary preferences. You need these foods to create energy, but too conditions your body to crave sugary and salty foods, and then you’re not open to trying other kinds.
You should work on reducing your sugar and salt intake. You’ll be amazed by how much more you can taste.
You’ll suddenly be able to detect the lower levels of salt and sugar in vegetables, cheeses, and other healthy foods, and they’ll taste better to you. You’ll also detect more flavor and derive more pleasure from new foods you try, because they aren’t masked by your craving for sugar and salt.
All of your senses intertwine to influence what you eat and how you perceive food. You might see something that looks strange to you, and automatically assume you won’t like it.
You might also touch a food and, noting the strange texture, decide it can’t possibly taste good. Even the sound of other people crunching a food can turn you off to it.
You’ll never find your way to a more sophisticated palate if you don’t ignore such responses and allow yourself to taste new things. Get past the mental blocks that won’t let you eat foods that seem unappealing.
Taste anything that comes before you, and try it more than once. You’ll still encounter edibles you don’t like, but you’ll also find there’s a variety of foods that were worth your time.
To develop a sophisticated palate, treat the process as a marathon, not a sprint. Keep in mind that it will take time, but if you’re diligent in approaching meals in these different ways, both your taste buds and your quality of life.