For my beloved Brother who introduced me to the art of cooking, who taught me how to taste and truly love food. Without him I'd never be able to be where I am today.

April 17, 2011

   Everything Simply Tastes Better With You

Tacky or true? Cheesy or charming? Can the most unremarkable and insipid oatmeal porridge suddenly taste like heaven just because there's that one special person there to share it with? Love just might be the secret ingredient.

Recently I've been enjoying all those banal and plain everyday dishes that much more because I've felt happier than I have in a while. Yes, my dear friends, I'm guilty of love in the highest degree.

I'm someone who very strongly believes that everything is connected, especially when it comes to a person's wellbeing, physically as well as mentally. I also firmly believe that when one's heart is sad, the whole rest of the body grieves along with it. Now when it comes to tasting, I believe that one can at certain moments of extreme joy and happiness taste more, in a deeper and more distinguished way than usually. Maybe it's because a person in an euphoric state of mind might be more open to culinary pleasures, or maybe it's purely biological.

If you look at it from a purely physiological perspective and break it down to basics, the taste buds on your tongue categorise everything you eat and drink into four kinds of taste: bitter, sour, salty, and sweet. Then, the taste pores on the taste buds convert the taste into a nerve impulse and sends the impulse to your brain. When your brain receives the impulse i.e. the taste code, your brain does the classification of the different kinds of tastes. Depending on how your brain does its classification, you'll then be able to identify a taste. Sounds like rocket science, but I'm sure I'm right.

During particular emotional highs one's brain sends out faster and stronger impulses, making the receptors for each sense more active, more sensitive than normally. With other words these impulses do not happen independent from and unrelated to our state of mind and emotions. 

Now coming back to the “everything is connected” statement I made before, I'm sure many of you have heard how people in love are technically speaking in a state of mind comparable to that of a drug rush, an ecstasy of some kind. Their brains experience the same kind of chemical reactions. I think that when a person is high on love or in some other way feels particularly happy, he or she can taste things in a whole different way. I mean just think about it, how many of you have sweet childhood memories of a specific candy for example that your grandma used to give to you when you went to visit her... Those candies never tasted as delicious as they did when you got them for your grandma, at her house. The exact same candy would never taste the same elsewhere, coming from someone else. What a disappointment, don't you think?

So yes, I do have to admit that everything simply tastes better with the one you love. Of course it depends on the person to begin with, but someone like me who feels passionate emotions when it comes to any kind of culinary experiences can agree with me.

Back to the oatmeal porridge. I eat it almost every morning and I like it a lot. Sure, some mornings it tastes better than others, but basically it's always the same porridge, prepared in the same way with same ingredients and spices. It's actually not even about the oatmeal porridge per se. In fact it could be anything. It's just that last week one morning, the same old oatmeal porridge just tasted amazing and totally different thanks to one crucial thing: I had the chance to share it with someone very special to me. When I realized it, I also understood that ever since this person has been back in my life, and therefore bringing me joy, food tastes like love. Yes, my friends, I know what loves tastes like. It's incredibly ambrosial! Looking back, I realized that there were many things that simply didn't reach that savour climax they have the capacity of reaching when this person was gone. Does that make any sense? In order to reach that maximum, that yummy climax, I needed to by fully and utterly in love. The good old “Made With Love” got a whole new and very concrete meaning for me.

I challenge You, fall in love, head over heals and eat. Eat and taste it with all your senses in a whole new vivid way. Taste love!

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