Developing Your Palate
Tasting food is like looking at art and more… It is another form of art to experience. You use a combination of your senses then your primary sensory organs, your eyes for art and your mouth for eating, to take them in, taste them, swallow them and experience them.
Developing your eyes for art and developing your palate for food work in a similar way, and like everything else, one needs practice. The best time to start is when you are young. If your parents expose you to art by taking you to museums, galleries and artists’ studio to see works of art and listen to artists’ conversations, you start establishing an eye for art and will develop a heightened awareness of art, culture and creativity as you grow.
The same process applies to developing your palate for food. If you are exposed to new foods at young age, given explanations of the ingredients, why this food is good for you or what it does to your body; you will grow to understand and have a heightened awareness and sensibility for food, and hence a much more developed palate.
I was lucky! I grew up being exposed to different food and with food that the taste was not jaded with mayo, ketchup and mustard. NO SAUCES! The food was made to taste good with herbs and spices. My palate was forced to taste more delicate flavors and to distinguish the variety of savory flavors and bouquets. The food had to stand in its own with no sauce. In a house that herbs and spices were queen of taste; I was never taught how to cook. I grew up with no grandmother recipes. She never had any recipes, let alone ever even walked into the kitchen. I have totally found my own way in improvising artsy, healthy cooking with less of the unnecessary goodness in them. What is “unnecessary goodness” you might ask? It consists of condiments that enhance your foods, but offer no real value to your body.
Now! Do I mean no sauces ever? Not at all! There are delicious wonderful sauces that you can make to only enhance the development process of your palate.
I believe in developing children’s palates not by jading their tastes buds with ketchup and mayo, but by giving them fresh food with plenty of herbs and spices. It seems that when there is not enough taste in the food cooked at home or eaten out, then kids use sauces to eat the food, or they resign to get satisfaction from sweets.