Please stand back while I kick in an open door.
Our enjoyment of food is tied to our perception of that food.
If I ask my man whether he wants a cheese cracker, the response is likely to be no, possibly with a frown thrown in for good measure. If I offer him the exact same biscuit but call it a Tuc cracker, I’m fighting him for the last one before I know it.
He’s not the only one who’s at it. According to the papers yesterday, cod caught in the wild tastes better than its farmed cousins. That is, as long as the test panel knows the fish roamed the seas before ending up on a plate. If the provenance of the fish is unknown, both types get the same tastiness-score.
And then there’s the example of a perfectly good piece of steak that has been died bright blue. Taste-testers enjoy eating it significantly less than when they’re served a steak within the usual color range. Even when told the hue comes from an innocent food dye, the meat doesn’t taste right to them.
Is it any wonder, then, that eating this thing was not an unequivocal pleasure?
This is the kliswortel (burdock) my bag’o’vegetables brought last week. Sure, after I peeled it, boiled it and sautéed it with lots of garlic it looked a bit better:
Still, it was nothing more than okay. Yes, it had to do with the flavor- which was vaguely artichoke-like, but mostly bland. It was definitely to do with the texture- stringy and a bit tough. But after I clapped eyes on its intimidating, bulky sandiness, I don’t think it would ever have been love. You win some, you lose some, I suppose.
Now let me just close that door before it gets drafty.