I ate my wafer...


I've always been vaguely curious about pickling, it seems to be sort of a food relative of brewing and winemaking. (Along with cheese, vinegar, etc) Anyway, the NYT had an interesting article touching on it this week. (Yes, you have to register to read it, get over it, it is free, fast and worth it.) Anyway, since I get and read the dead tree version of the NYT here for free, I've been carrying around the following clipping for the last couple of days waiting to blog about it:

"People will always say, `Give it to me hot,' `Give it to me spicy,' " Mr. Field said. "We live in aggressive times politically, culturally, and I think it all plays out on our palate."" (From page two of the article linked to above.)

Anyway, I'm curious about the proposed relationship between strong flavors and politics/news/culture. Certainly over the last couple of years, I've gravitated towards stronger flavors...be it a transition from colby to swiss to cheddar to extra sharp cheddar cheese; to appreciating strong hop flavors in beer, including the occasional IPA, etc. Typically, I associate this change in preference to aging, not society, but I'm still interested to discuss the topic. Any takers?


  • Seems pretty logical. Your sense of taste dulls as you age, like any of your other senses. So if you continue to want things to taste bold or spicy, you need to eat bolder or spicier things. Same reason that people turn up the volume as their hearing fades, or read books with large print as their vision diminishes.

    - Peter

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:02 PM  

  • I tend to agree, at least personally, about the stronger flavors with age, but I was intersted in the pickle manufacturer's hypothesis anyway. That is, it seems common that under stress, people gravitate towards different eating patterns than normal. How many people have comfort foods that they eat during exams or similar...maybe a large number drift towards strong flavors in current political times? I have no idea, merely thought it was interesting, and hope that Adam Prizio comments, as he may well have actuall statistical information on the topic.

    By Blogger Bob, at 1:30 AM  

  • Do we really think that a majority of people worry about national/international politics so much that it affects their eating habits? Maybe if you live in New York. But hey, since New York is the Center of the Civilized World, it must be true for the rest of the country...

    By Blogger Krupa, at 11:32 AM  

  • I know when understress I prefer spicier foods ... I also know that as my father has aged he prefers his food more and more bland (understandable if he was really old, but he is only 58!) also under stress my father has always prefered bland foods (perhaps because he "keeps his stress" in his stomach so he already has an irritated digestive system when stressed and doesn't want to increase the problem) I think it is much more a matter of individual taste.

    By Blogger TheAmber, at 10:49 AM  

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