Foods You Love & Hate: The Science of Taste (and Smell) mark January 24, 2012 Interesting 5 Comments Think of a food or ingredient that you hate. Think hard, can you taste it? Do you get a visceral reaction to that taste ? I know I can trick myself into sense memories for a variety of things, mostly terrible ones. For example, tongue depressors or Popsicle sticks. As I sit here and type those words my lips are puckered, my tongue is curled up inside my mouth and I can feel my skin crawl. Chocolate is the food item that gets me. The smell of chocolate is enough to make me leave a room. Oddly enough, the taste of it may not be so bad for me ( I had some chocolate bacon cheesecake last week, and I liked it, I just couldn’t eat the chocolate sauce), I can’t get past the smell. According to a Huffington Post article the top 10 most Polarizing foods are: Cilantro Celery Black Licorice Green Pepper Marzipan Mayonnaise Blue Cheese Vegemite/Marmite Coconut Liver Outside of marzipan I like all of them in some way or another. There have been a variety of studies performed around many of these items and the research going into how we taste is fascinating stuff. Anyone with some blue food coloring can do a quick test at home to see how sensitive a taster they may be. As an aside being a super taster must be one of the worst super power ever. Cilantro in particular has had numerous studies done on it to see what there is about it that makes people either love it or hate it. Turns out it may be more smell than taste. I’m sure you have met someone who has complained of cilantro tasty soapy or other similar descriptions. next time you have them feeling agreeable have them hold their nose and taste it, see what they think. The others tend to be more of the acquired taste variety. I have heard people complain of celery in in its raw state, particularly its stringy qualities, but rarely have I heard it complained about as cooked ingredient. Perhaps I have just tuned it out. While Licorice and its vegetable roots, anise,fennel seeds, fronds, liquor and even pollen also typically fall into the love it or hate it camp, it’s popularity as an ingredient makes it hard to avoid. Green Pepper? really? I love the stuff. Along with celery their friends onion and carrot it can do no wrong in my book. I don’t actually think of Marzipan as a food but I’m not much of a sweet eater. Outside of creepy, non marzipan babies I’m not sure that is is something that really gets eaten. It seems to be more decorative than anything. Mayonnaise was a real head scratcher, outside of controversy surrounding its superiority over Miracle Whip it seems to be pretty innocuous. I mean what is more bland than mayonnaise other than a mayonnaise sandwich on white bread. Blue Cheese is a common one, considering its smell is derived from the same bacteria that causes foot odor it’s no surprise. I love the stuff but its flavor and smell are a big part of what I enjoy and I can certainly understand why others don’t. Even if you don’t like it there is still no excuse to serve ranch with Buffalo wings, that is just wrong. Vegemite and Marmite are often lumped together but lovers of each will tell you that they are not the same. While they both have yeast as a base they have very different flavors and qualities. If you have never tried either one, I encourage you to find a friend who has a jar and give it a try. It is a very strong flavor but delicious in its own peculiar way. At first I was shocked by coconut, and then I realized, I don’t like it in any form other than raw fresh coconut. The sweetened stuff is gross and I actively avoid it in most recipes. Apparently I’m less open than I thought. Coconut also contains lauric acid, which can cause a soapy flavor in overripe coconut. And last but certainly not least hated is liver. This very site rated liver as the most hated childhood food. While I still have not learned to embrace a big plate of calves liver, chicken livers, venison liver, pate and foie gras are all winners in my book. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts mark Latest posts by mark (see all) Pizzeria Bianco Review: Is it really the best pizza in America? - December 10, 2013 Truffle Fries Review - December 5, 2013 Breaking News! Jack In The Box to Release Fajita Ranch Melt Sourdough Sandwich - December 3, 2013 5 Responses Peter January 24th, 2012 Interesting! I can’t stand black licorice or coconut. Reply Brooke January 24th, 2012 Funny, the top 2 on the list are the ones that will ruin any dish for me. I can taste the smallest amounts of cilantro or celery in cooked or raw dishes and it’s over. Reply Eick January 25th, 2012 I despise black licorice and liver. While I can dip my wings in blue cheese dressing all day long, I don’t really enjoy just eating a piece of pungent blue cheese. Everything else on that list is tolerable/enjoyable to me. I actually enjoy Marmite and LOVE cilantro. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Comment Current ye@r * Leave this field empty Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.