Eating with Your Senses

Ever spent hours in the kitchen perfecting a new dish from created by one of the best chefs that has ever lived, only to share the creation with a family member that refuses to even touch it? How did that make you feel? Most of the time, this form of criticism comes from children. Believe or not we all criticize food in the same way children do. As soon as the dish lands on the table we already have a predetermined idea of how the dish will taste by using our sense of smell, sight, feel, and even what we hear.  The Our sense of taste is the least important sense when determining good cooking.

Don’t be confused, the sense of taste is really important when deciding good cooking. Our taste buds help us enjoy the foods we eat (Dental Health). It is also the final checkpoint of accepting the food before it enters the body. Without taste buds you have a potential risk of eating something that is harmful to the body. (Boroditsky) Although the sense of taste is a necessity, figuring out whether a dish is worthy of entering the body can and is determined way before our sense of taste does.

The first, and possibly the most important sense used when determining good cooking is the sense of smell. The sense of smell helps enhance our taste, sometimes misleading us to think that we taste something that we actually smell. Smells gives us the ability to recognize a dish without looking at it. (Crosby) Without smell, finding familiarity in unfamiliar foods would be extremely difficult.

Who cares if a dish smells good if the sight of the dish makes us want to vomit? “Food that looks attractive will probably taste better – or at least it will seem to taste better” (Crosby). Author and television presenter, Stefan Gates, preformed an experiment on a group a professional wine tester by serving them white wine, one with red food coloring and one without. Even though the wine was the exactly the same, the testers believed that the wine with the food coloring was richer and more flavorful (Ramsden). For many of us, our eyes are the reason we know the difference between certain foods such as lamb and pork (Crosby).

The sense of what we hear and feel also plays a huge role in determining good cooking. Tough steak and soggy fries immediately eliminate all acceptability from our sense of smell and sight (Crosby). Combining these senses with our other senses create a recipe for success.

At the end of the day the sense of taste is the final judge. In just one bite, the sense of taste can reject or accept what we taste. It is what all chefs live to do – entertain our taste buds. However, our taste bud’s acceptance or rejection of the dish is first influenced by our other senses. Majority of the time our taste buds does not have the opportunity to reject foods because it has already been rejected by our other senses. In conclusion, the next time you see a child protest against eating a “masterpiece” dish before trying it, accept the criticism.

You are just as guilty.



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