According to Antony Worrell Thompson, you have to eat something 17 times before your tastebuds adjust to a new taste. Or at least take 17 bites. I don’t suppose you actually have to swallow the food if you don’t want to, although choosing not to might prove somewhat embarrassing at a posh dinner party. Or even a not-so-posh one for that matter.
I think that's quite an interesting titbit and one I shall remember next time I taste something and decide I don’t particularly like it. Notice that I didn’t say really found it foul though, because if that’s the case then I’m not going to put myself through taste hell seventeen times just to see whether I eventually become accustomed to it. No way. There's a big difference between unpleasant and disgusting.
Seriously though, it’s really worth remembering when you’re teaching children to accept new foods as it’s obvious that persistence is key if they’re actually going to accept a taste that they don’t find particularly appealing to start with. I have to admit that I gave up long before I’d made seventeen attempts, going back to things now and then and trying again, but as only one of my three children is willing to give most things a try, I do feel a bit “if only I’d known that then”-ish.
I used to be very picky myself - probably because my mum was never really interested in cooking so tended to serve the same things over and over - but I’ve improved as I’ve got older. I want to improve even further though. I want to broaden my food horizons and discover the joys of everything nature has to offer our palettes.
The one thing I’ve always refused point blank to even consider tasting though is a tomato. I’ve always hated them. Really despised them. Not the taste or the texture - I wouldn’t know what they’re like - but just the thought of them would make me feel ill (all in the mind, of course). I’ve decided it’s time to overcome that now, or at least try. I shall buy a tomato next time I shop, and will try a tiny piece. It won’t be easy, I know that, but I’m gonna try. And I’m gonna try seventeen times! After all, there must be something I’m missing because everybody else seems to love ‘em!
Other posts that may be of interest:
- Garden Plants To Use In Salads
- Menu Planning - How I Do It
- Sweet Stella Cherries - A Real Taste of Summer