Let’s talk about our taste buds for a bit shall we?
Taste buds are what allow us to enjoy all of the delicious foods we encounter in our lives. I don’t know about you, but that makes them pretty darn important in my book! Generally speaking, there are five main taste profiles that our tongues and taste buds are sensitive to:
For most of us the first four are fairly self explanatory, but umami may be harder to classify. It is most often described as “savory” or “meaty”.
Now, just because we can all taste the five flavors doesn’t mean we all like all of them! We all have foods we don’t care for (yes, even dietitians), and that’s OK! If you’ve listened to our podcast, you know that Dana and I both have a couple things each that we just flat out don’t care for (mainly beets). We’re all different and we all have different preferences. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t challenge yourself to try new foods and flavors on a regular basis though! You never know what you might like. The sensory cells within our taste buds regenerate each week, so your taste buds quite literally change as we age! If you hated broccoli as a kid - give it a try as an adult prepared a few different ways. You may be pleasantly surprised!
Dana and I both have a bit of a challenge that we put on both ourselves and our clients when trying new foods. We call it the “3 Bite Dare”. Let’s all have a moment of nostalgic silence for our middle school truth or dare days. And now, let’s all thank our lucky stars that stage of our life is over :) Seriously, you couldn’t pay me to go back to middle school - anybody else feel that way?!
We owe part of the credit for our “3 Bite Dare” to a chef friend of ours (shout out to Chef Rick)! The concept is simple. Anytime you try a new food or dish, we challenge you to try 3 full bites (not just one and done) - and yes, you must chew AND swallow those bites :)
Your first bite is for flavor. Really be mindful of the overall flavor of the food and all of the flavors that meld together to form that one (hopefully delish) bite.
Your second bite is for texture. Consider how the food feels in your mouth. Squishy, crunchy, etc. Texture preferences can play a large role in whether or not we enjoy certain foods; sometimes more than the flavor!
Your last dare bite is just for FUN. We’ve said it before and we’ll continue to say it time and again - food is meant to be enjoyed! Don’t overthink this last bite - just go with it!
After you’ve completed the “3 Bite Dare” - you’re fully equipped to make your informed decision. Did you enjoy the food overall? Do you want to continue eating the food or dish? Not your cup of tea? If it doesn’t strike your fancy - no sweat! Nobody is going to force you to eat it. We do encourage you to try again if the opportunity presents itself (remember your taste buds change). This can also be a really great tool to use with kids if you’re trying to broaden the horizons of a picky eater, or just want to institute a fun dinner time dare with your family.
So, this week we challenge you to do the “3 Bite Dare” with a food you “don’t like” or a new recipe or dish you have the opportunity to try. If you do, let us know! We always love to hear from you :)