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Improve your tastebud IQ

When I was 17 I loved indulging my taste for unique clothing. I loved wearing my long sweaters lined with dark purple faux fur and snakeskin pants (also fake) from the tiny clothing store I worked at at the time. Sometimes I’d sift through my mom’s closet to find some piece she had from the 70s and pair it with something in my own closet.

My taste for the unique is still with me today as I treasure my less duplicatable handmade jewelry from South America, a beautiful gold and citrine ring that was my great grandmother Laura Ruiz’s, and beautiful objects I’ve acquired during travel.

Taste shows up in all sorts of different ways.

You may be attracted to particular features or qualities in potential romantic partners.

You might find certain behavior in general tasteful or distasteful.

Your taste may in part be dictated by what culture finds attractive at any given time (i.e. trends)

(Bell bottom jeans? Skinny jeans?)

But typically when we have a taste for something we’ve refined the gross to something more subtle or particular.

When it comes to food, we have a “taste for” certain things as well.

I’ve read that the average person has up to 10,000 taste buds and they’re replaced every two weeks or so. There’s a lot of potential to pick up nuances in the food we eat.

One of the problems we can run into is mass produced, processed foods can tend to desensitize the taste buds, making it harder to actually taste and derive pleasure from, say, a handful of raw almonds.

Also, eating when in a stressed state also seems to desensitize tastebuds. (How often to you hear about someone stress eating apples? They usually go for the more intensely flavored or processed foods). I sometimes joke with clients that you’ll rarely hear reports of people lamenting about hard-boiled egg or baby carrot binges.

Have you developed a more refined taste in food?

You’ll know you’re on the right track if, for example, your tastebuds can tell the difference between a tomato shipped from several hundred miles away versus an heirloom grown within 20 miles of where you live. Have you had this experience?

When it comes to store-bought items, can you taste the difference between JIF peanut butter and one made from ground peanuts alone?

Or between Hershey’s dark chocolate and Dove dark chocolate and Endangered Species dark chocolate?