Here’s an interesting read from Bon Appétit magazine about how our senses of taste and smell change as we grow older. I used to have a powerful aversion to cilantro when I was a child, to the point where I would almost gag at the smell of it. Today, I can’t get enough of it. The author in this article says that while it is true that there are physiological changes that affect our sense of taste, what has a large impact on what we like or don’t like to eat is that we become more adventurous eaters as we get older. Exposure to something will play a role. For me, the turnaround on cilantro didn’t happen over time, however; as I recall, it was quite sudden. I was at a casual dinner party, and the host – from Mauritius – had made a dipping sauce that had cilantro in it, and for whatever reason, I wanted to drink the whole thing. Today, I crave Mexican and Thai food primarily so I can get a hit of cilantro. I find the scent fragrantly intoxicating, instead of sickening.
I also used to hate sweet peas as a child. I think it was more of a texture issue, rather than taste. My mother used to make dishes with sweet peas in it, but take out all the peas from my portion – god bless moms, right?! Today, I could eat an entire bowl of fresh sweet peas on its own for dinner!
One food my taste buds have never adjusted to, however, is lamb. Try as I might, it is a taste that my olfactory senses refuse to welcome.
Are there foods that you used to hate as a child but now love? How have your senses of taste or smell changed over time?