T Minus Two Type Two Diabetes and Other Passions

9Dec/133

Solo Flavors, Social Flavors

For my mouth, some flavors are solitary and some are more social.

Take sour/savory, such as a pickled vegetable that's not too sweet. I can spear a piece of pickled red pepper from a jar, and it's delicious, and it's enough: that flavor is content to be alone. Salty (not salty-fat) is the same way for me: just a few nice olives can be a nice little snack, and my mouth feels that it has been treated well and is content. (Pretzels are an exception for me.)

Fatty flavors are more social: they want more of their own kind around. I've barely got a bite of a good hamburger swallowed before my tongue wants the next bite. The call for "more!" doesn't go away until I feel full or the food is gone .. whichever is later.  Fatty/salty is even more so for many people - think potato chips or french fries. There are probably people who can eat one potato chip and fully enjoy it without reaching for the next one

Sweet is more social yet. A modestly-sized cookie wants to be joined by another, and another, and another. I have, on occasion, used mouthwash to try to stop the invitations from going out.

And fatty/sweet, like ice cream or milk chocolate? That's a flavor combo that wants to PAR-TAY, and how can it par-tay without mouthful after mouthful of the same flavor.  (Chocolate does not really trigger me like that, but it seems to for many people. Ice cream very much triggers me like that.)

This is just an observation. I don't know if it works like this for others.

Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Oh yeah… it works this way for me. Especially with the salty stuff. Thanks

  2. Love the analogy! I’m thinking about how I feel about it: the salty or savory flavors are really not very satisfying to me, so there is no way I could ever make a meal of them, much less binge on them. Salty-fatty, or chocolate, I’ve lost my taste for, so I don’t go out of my way to buy them, but if I was at a table with a bowl of potato chips in front of me, I COULD keep going. My taste for sweet varies. Sometimes I just crave sweets, and other times I can do nicely without them. And when I AM craving, it has to be a particular sweet, whether ice cream, cake, pie, or cookies. I never want candy any more, although I used to have quite the sweet tooth for it when I was younger.

    So my biggest battle is when the sweet cravings come upon me. One thing I do is if I want cake, to buy the individual size servings they sometimes sell at my store. If it’s ice cream, buy the smallest package. Pie and cookies are harder, because the kinds I like are not sold in individual serving size. A friend suggested to me that I keep the foods I’m likely to overdo in the car, but in the summer, they’d turn to goo, and in the winter, they’d freeze. So I think my best defense is to buy them only rarely, in as small a portion as possible, and then forgive myself for occasionally feasting, and get on with the plan thereafter.

  3. Interesting observations, and I think you may be right. Personally, I’ve never really craved sweets, but savory flavors are a bonanza. Fortunately, on the savory side of the palate, there are lots and lots of options. However, the pairings you observe seem to have some truth to them, although on the sweet side, these days salted caramel is in vogue, perhaps combining the savory and sweet elements (although it also has fat, so maybe its a triple threat?). I can’t say whether this has any impact on consumption, but its worth experimenting.


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