Tag Archives: palate

Differences in Taste

9 May

Kelly Dobkin, a writer on Zagat, recently posted an interesting article “Hooked on Acid – Has the American Palate Changed Forever?”  While I found interesting her article on the American taste changing from the creamy French to spicier/more acidic flavors in their food, what caught my eye was the fact that she suggests these spicier flavors are predominantly Asian in nature.  

As most of my readers know, I have traveled and eaten in several Asian countries ~ China, Korea, and Japan to be exact.  The lack of cooking utensils (and a determination to thoroughly enjoy ourselves) led me and my fellow students to local restaurants most nights.  Asia is awesome for many reasons, but the cheap food at restaurants is a real draw.

One of the things that I kept running into were warnings about the spiciness of their food.  Having been raised on Mexican and South American food, I have always had a preference for the spicier side of cuisine; and I generally order hotter dishes when I eat out.  Asia was no different, and I frequently was drawn towards dishes with the cute little jalapeno pepper symbol next to it.  Repeatedly, the waiters/waitresses would stop and ask if I was quite sure I wanted something that hot.  Over and over, they would warn “very hot. I think that in America you must not eat food this hot.”  And just as often, I would reassure them that if they didn’t hand over the beef dish immediately, they were losing a hand to my fork.   Continue reading

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