Tips for Training Your Palate
Have you ever been to dinner with friends and had one of your friends pick up on the subtlest of spices in a dish? Or at a wine tasting, perhaps they could pick out the flavors that the sommelier says should be evident in the wine. And, try as you might, you just can’t seem to pick out the flavors that they do.
Some people definitely do have a better palate that allows them to more easily pick out spices, flavors, and tastes in foods and drinks. But if you don’t find that your palate is able to do that – you can help improve your palate. With a few simple steps, you can work to improve your tasting skills.
- Know the Five Basic Tastes:There are five basic tastes when it comes to foods and drinks: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami. While you probably have a pretty good grasp of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter – do you know about umami?
- Umami is the fifth taste and is often referred to as “savory.” It’s commonly used to describe mushrooms, broths, meats, and cheeses.
- Constantly Try New Foods: If you want to improve your palate, the easiest (and perhaps the most fun) way to do so is to try new foods. By exposing your palate to new flavors, you will continue to expand and improve your palate. You will notice new flavors and tastes and explore new foods and drinks.
- And Then Try Them Again and Again: Not every new flavor that you try will you like, but you need to continue to try them – and try them again. If you’ve been a picky eater, you may need to try the same thing up to ten times in order to expand your palate and acquire an appreciation for the taste.
- Slow Down and Savor What You Eat: What are mealtimes like for you? Do you find yourself constantly in a rush and trying to quickly finish your meal? If the answer is yes, then you’re not alone. A study found that Americans spend, on average, 67 minutes eating their meals and snacks during the day. That’s not a lot of time to eat three meals and a snack or two.
- If you want to help your palate, slow down during meal times. Take the time to enjoy your meal without distractions.
- Cleanse Your Palate: If you’ll be trying various foods, perhaps with strong flavors or with flavors you are not familiar with, think about cleansing your palate between tastings. You could do this with a sorbet, a slice of bread, or even a glass of water.
- Eat With All of Your Senses: When it comes to your palate, you may think it’s all about your sense of taste. But you really should be eating with all of your senses. When you use all of your senses, you can more thoroughly understand and enjoy the foods and drinks you are tasting.
- Don’t Use Tobacco Products: You know that tobacco can have a negative impact on your health. It can also have a negative impact on your palate. Studies have shown that people who use tobacco have flatter taste buds, which can affect the way they taste foods and drinks.
Are you ready to become one of those people who can pick up the subtlest flavor in a dish? Then use these tips to help improve your palate, and soon you will be enjoying your meals even more.