Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Thoughts on Eating

Having been on a restricted diet of soft foods for two weeks due to my injury, I have realized a few things about food that otherwise might not have occurred to me:
  1. Texture affects taste. You won't notice it at first, but after about a week, foods with the same texture will start to taste alike. I don't know if it's psychological, or texture interacts with taste buds, or maybe my tongue is just lazy, but pureed food has all started to taste the same and shredded food has all started to taste the same. The thing is I know that ham salad tastes different from tuna salad, but at this point my mouth is going "Okay, another meat salad meal, yawn" and having everything taste the same.
  2. Chewing is more important than I thought. Related to the #1, I've come to the realization that the act of chewing increases the satisfaction level of food. Perhaps chewing releases more flavor, but I think it's more likely to be a deeply psychological or biochemical effect related to our predator heritage. Eating a thick, juicy steak just tastes fundamentally different from eating shredded steak, even if they're cooked in exactly the same manner.
  3. Appetite fatigue is real.  Come dinner time, I am almost desperately hungry but I have a hell of a time finding anything I want to eat, because nothing looks or sounds good,  because it all feels the same in my mouth. All I want is to take a big bite of something and chew, chew, chew, and I can't do that. 
Just do me this one favor, gang: When you eat your dinner tonight, or lunch tomorrow, take a moment to savor the texture of each bite and the simple joy of chewing. 

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