Programmed to taste

I caught the tail end of a discussion on the radio, and then read an article on the BBC site about why we like the taste of certain things; apparently we are programmed from birth to like sweet things, I guess the first thing we taste, our mother’s milk is sweet… but some people definitely continue onto their lives liking, loving sweet things, whereas others prefer salty, sour, savoury even bitter tastes… Like me for example; many sweet things are horrid to me, whereas bitter really appeals to my taste buds – beer and olives for example!

One of the points made in the article is how what is happening in the background while you are eating affects how you eat and your perception of what you eat – it’s no surprise to find out that loud music makes people eat more quickly, and in some restaurants (posh expensive ones I guess) playing classical music results in people buying more or spending more on wine.

Going back to the sweet/bitter story, the article comments “there are also “acquired tastes”, where the social reward outweighs an initial dislike – such as drinking beer and coffee” – well, all I can say is that from an early age I did like such things, even though, like most children I looked sweeter things when younger, by the time I was an older child, as opposed to a young adult, I was already moving away from sweet to savoury.

One of the interesting things in the article (of the many interesting things) is the way food evokes memories – and stories; I write a lot about food, all aspects of it, here and in my novels. Heston Blumenthal comments “”You have this discussion at the table, you start revealing, you start opening up your own memories, you start opening up with positive nostalgia, the floodgates open.”

PS The one sweet thing I do really love is my husband!!

Here is a link to my books, and you can read how I write about food:

and to the article:



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