I’ve always wondered what “acquired taste” meant. It seemed like the sort of thing that the rich and well funded people seemed to possess since most of the expensive foods in the world – beluga caviar, blue cheese, haggis – were the kind for which you had to acquire a taste. I often wondered how did one acquire a taste and where from? Why was there a need to acquire taste at all? What was so wrong with the one you had already?
As you can see, I was completely clueless about the concept of acquired taste and it was only much later I realized that when someone acquires a taste for something, they’ve sort of learned to turn a blind eye to the qualities of food that would make most people gag. It could be smell, the texture, or even the taste. For instance, not everyone likes black coffee and they’d find it too bitter to be able to enjoy it. But, there are those that can swig down black coffee by the liter and not stop for a nano second to consider the bitter taste. That is an acquired taste.
Let’s look at some of the more common foods that fall under the category of “having to acquire taste for them.” The first one on my list is Caviar – but, of course! It’s one of the most popular, not to mention the most expensive foods in the world and you definitely have to acquire a taste for it to pass down your esophagus into your stomach without making a return journey the opposite way. After all, it’s not everyone who can find fish eggs appealing, let alone appetizing. But those who do, they speak in ecstasy about complex flavors, rich taste, and luxurious texture. Yup, definitely an acquired taste!
Raw Oysters comes next in line because the world is clearly divided in its opinion of it – they either love it or are repulsed by it. To be honest, raw oysters don’t look too great – in fact, they remind me of the slimy cocoon around a developing alien creature one sees in sci-fi movies. As for the taste, I’ve read it being described as “licking moss off the bottom of the boat.” But, if you are can get past the “gaggable” texture or the sensation of it sliding down your throat like a slippery eel, you might actually enjoy having it with a dash of lemon juice or hot sauce.
Since we are talking about all things marine derived, we wouldn’t want to forget anchovies. For a long time, I believed anchovies to be some form of vegetable. The name doesn’t sound “fishy” enough to be convincing. If it isn’t the strong smell that can knock people out for a couple of hours, it could be the hair like protrusions that irritate the mouth. By the way, those hair-like thingies are actually the tiny, chewable bones of the fish!
There are countless foods on this planet that will be considered weird or strange or downright yuck. But really, why do you bother? You have the divine right to like what you like without caring two hoots about what anyone thinks. So, next time someone looks at askance at the celery in your hand, turn right around to face them and take a big bite out of it with utmost relish. That will show ‘em.
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