Monday, June 25, 2012

Taste It's A Cultural Thing

Ever wonder why certain foods stay within certain cultures and why some are internationally loved It's all a matter of taste. Particular flavors can be like a second skin to a certain ethnicity while it can be repulsive to others. It's what you're used to - what a part of you like your culinary DNA.

This phenomena happened recently when I dined at the home of Greek friends. Greek soups always have a huge dose of lemon juice in them. If you're not used to this , it can make the soup taste - well off. It was hard for me to enjoy what normally is a universal standard, chicken broth with beaten egg and some veggies thrown in. Lemon to me works with any seafood or even chicken. Soup, especially chicken doesn;t need that extra punch, It took a while for me to really enjoy my bowl. I could not refuse it . That would have been a slap in the face to my host who is a good cook,In situations such as that one the best bet is to eat some and try to enjoy it.

Cultural food faux pas take place anywhere and everywhere, especially if you have a cadre of foreign born friends or colleagues.I found in talking to my Chinese students their hatred of Mexican food ("too smelly and too spicy") according to one girl) to American candies which they have always declared as too sugary. The Chinese are not into sweets as much as the Americans. They , like some Europeans, prefer ending a meal with fruit on snacking on fresh berries or cut melon chunks.However once they're here for a few years then they start getting a taste for everything Yankee, especially fast food and gooey ice cream treats.

Taste really is a cultural phenomena. Your food likes and dislikes comes down to where you were raised and the foods you were given as a child.What one group may adore another may detest.It;s just a part of the many ethnicity's that not only make up our world but our gastronomy as well.

No comments: