Why do we like certain foods?
We we know you come from all over the world so you have lots of different kinds of experiences and lots of different kinds of questions. One thing that's universally true is is that you all eat but you don't like the same things do you and that got one of our listeners. Pretty curious so today. We're going to listen back to an episode all about food. MARLINS ALEX I like to cook food to eat it. I'm eleven years old in Columbus Columbus Ohio and I was wondering why we like to eat certain foods for example. Why do some some people like to eat spicier food? Some people not like to eat their vegetables in that stuff. We love this question Alex. A few months ago we actually had a live event here in Vermont and we asked other kids about what kinds of food they love and hate Mac and cheese. Yeah it's really cheesy and cake because I have it every time on my mistake seaweed and salted dried. Well I like trying new foods of Grand Canyon hotdog uh-huh Alec Foods but I like dumplings. There were good taste and I like the texture. Macaroni at school could so cheesy. My Favorite I. I me and I like bitching soon. My favorite food peach because nerve. 'CAUSE 'cause there's tweet probably fix sticks or Kim surrogates. I like lots of foods but one of my favorite foods is hot. Docs because hot dogs are delicious. mm-hmm and the Bun and the Ketchup. Give them a very good taste of flavor. I like you cut down I think so. Why do some kids like hotdogs and others? Don't we got in touch with this guy to find out. Yeah I'm Chris Kimball and I'm the guy who likes to to make sure recipes work when you get into the kitchen at home. Chris Kimball is a chef writer and TV personality. He had a magazine called Cook's illustrated and and he had a TV. Show called America's test kitchen where they tried out different recipes to make sure they were as good as possible now. He runs a company in Boston. Called Milk Street Great. It's a magazine cooking school and TV and radio production company. Let's re familiarize ourselves with Alex's question while we like take eat certain foods for example. Why do some people like to eat spicy food? Some people not like to eat convection boys. That stuff studies have suggested that wild you know you are still inside your mother which your mother eats. It does have an effect on what you're GonNa like when you get a little older mother who loves carrots for example sometimes kids grow up to like carrot so they like bitter things a sweet things that affect your taste. I do think children in general like very high energy foods which means obviously sugary foods. Food sweet foods in over time I think as you get older your taste buds your palate. The way you react to foods changes in people tend to have slightly duller tastes and therefore want bigger flavors. They tend to like spicy foods by the way most of what you think of taste as nothing to do with a Palette of the tongue. That's just sweet sour bitter something called you. Mommy which means meaty may be a couple others others but almost everything you perceive as being a specific taste is through the nose or backup through the throat from the mouth up into the nasal cavity and the sensors there are going to pick up the thousand different kinds of sweet so your palate will determine sweet in different levels of sweet sweet but it's really It's the air. That's the odors that identify strawberry for example peppermint So you're smelling it rather than just tasting it with your tongue and your taste. Buds flavor is mostly about smell. And very little about taste taste the sensors on your tongue can determine different levels of the basic thing sweet sour salty bitter and media your mommy but when you get within any of those categories To all the infinite Senate variety. That's really the smell so for somebody who really doesn't like to eat any vegetables and their parents are telling them. Every the week you have to eat your vegetables you have to eat your Broccoli. This tastes good and the kid is saying. I don't like Broccoli. How do you develop a taste for things? Is that at first. You don't necessarily like well. Why should you? I mean you don't like Broccoli Doni Broccoli. I think it's A. It's very strange in this country that we seem to like to force kids to eat things they don't Wanna eat. Certainly kids should have good diets. But if kids don't like Broccoli why try try to make me Broccoli. Go find something they do like that is healthy if they want. It need an apple an apple but I don't believe in forcing foods on people that makes no sense to me. Our audience is GonNa think you're the best that's ever been on the podcast. Now you've just given all of our kids in excuse to say mom Kris Kimball enough to eat my Broccoli. When I was growing up my mother maybe eat OKRA? Tell you I still hate Okra. You have not developed a liking of Okra. Well if it's crispy pickled but otherwise now slimy Dan goofy doesn't work for you. What about spicy food? Some cultures have a lot of spicy food. So you're just going to be exposed to spicy food. And most people sort of adapt to whatever the the regional and cultural flavors are in their lives but spicy food is one area where you can gain and lose spice tolerance. Well well there are. Some people are more sensitive to spice like I am than other. That's true you can put a blue dye on the Tung. To measure the number of pappy. I or taste buds on your tongue. The more you have the more sensitive you'll probably be. That's true in in a lot of lot of research now suggests the taste preferences. Some of them are genetic for example I can detect bitterness us very quickly in food. And that's because I have some genetic markers which allow me to do that. But some large part of the population thirty percent center more. Don't have those markers so some of it is is just physiological Not just a matter of of experience and some of it is experience experience. I mean I. Is there a sense that when you try things over and over again you might change your if you grow up in a culture. That's using spicy foods. You'll be used to eating spicy food. Sure I yeah I think I think there's no question about that. You may not experience the spicy foods. Exactly the same. Wiz your neighbor but that'll be part of your diet certainly for me when I was a kid. My mom and my Stepdad used to have what they thought was their delicacy in the eighties was liver wrapped in Bacon. And I thought that was about the most disgusting thing you could possibly eat and now live wrapped in Bacon actually sounds pretty darn tasty and and that liver texture. That was so disgusting to me. As a ten-year-old seems pretty appealing now and that flavor is really wonderful. Do you know what changed. Is it just that you know. I'm I'm an adult and I've made made my brain decide that that's a good flavor. Well it's a good point. The most of of flavor is really about what the brain does with the input sensory input so part of it is getting the input but the big part in the in the frontal lobe is is where you have have emotions and memories and other things is where the brain processes this information and so your reaction to it and your ability to perceive it is based on experience. It's so you may have lots of positive memories or experiences or emotions relating to that food now where twenty years ago you didn't and that's all part and parcel of how the brain perceives flavor. So what goes on in the brain and how the brain takes those inputs imports and puts them together. People don't really understand yet. So the it's it's really brain function the controls the perception of of flavor. More than anything else. So maybe if you just told yourself every day that you really like Broccoli you could eventually convinced your tongue that your brain says you like it there risk my. It's called mind over matter. I'm not sure that works but you could certainly try it.