On Tasting Everything

Today’s train of thought was inspired by the Google reader that I just set up, thanks to my friend Ria. She brought my attention to the RSS feeder because I am always hopelessly doing things the old school way, i.e., haivng about a million open tabs. I feel that there are so many short-cuts in the world, at least when it comes to computers and tech-stuff that I just have no idea about. I still keep numbers and addresses written down in my Filofax. Bluetooth what? Smart phone what??

Anyway, as I sat down excited to check my Google reader and all the new hits that await for me to take note of, I just started recently reading another sister site of Apartment Therapy that I really like, called The Kitchn. Today’s wisdom comes from The Kitchn’s posting called Good Quote: On Tasting Everything.

In the introduction to his book, 101 Wines: Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World, Gary Vaynerchuk gives one of the most compelling arguments on taste that we’ve heard:

The best way I’ve found to exercise your palate is to taste everything, and I mean everything–not just wine…There is nothing in this world I won’t eat. So, when you see me on WLTV or Conan O’Brien chomping cigars or sucking wet rocks, it’s no gimmick. These really are the things that I’ve done to train my palate. You need to explore every exotic fruit, imported candy, farm stand jam, animal, vegetable, and mineral, because by a miracle of nature, all these flavors can appear in a glass of wine.

I would have to say that I completely agree with this. Now, I’m not neccessailry going to order an entire plate of a foreign taste, but I will try a bite of something at least once, so it’s good for me to have at least adventurious eaters around me. But besides from tasting at the table, it made me think back to when I was little, like really young, when you almost have that animalist instinct to put everything in your mouth out of sheer curiousity. There is so much of that curiousity that we lose when we get older, so I think that Vaynerchuk has a great point. Even if we don’t like the taste of something, it is still knowledge. I learned at a very young age that I do not like the taste of crepe paper, the green rug in my bedroom, and my Pooh bear’s nose. I don’t think that this knowledge will nessarily make me a great sommelier, but it’s something to think about.

Sometimes I fear that my palate is dulled by peanut butter and oatmeal overload. And coffee. I also do love my crushed red pepper flakes…not all together, obviously. I would not have to taste that combination to know that would not be a good one.

What have you tasted today?

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