Thursday, 3 July 2008
Much is being said about taste and flavour and ageing and whatnot over at Gobbler's little nook at the moment. And it's odd that I should have the head cold from Hell while we're discussing taste (or lack thereof).
Simply, I can't taste a thing.. nothing.. nada. Which is good, when you consider that Strepsil's Zinc lozenges taste like cheap cask wine after you've brushed your teeth. The down side is that NOTHING has flavour, but I can still experience texture.
And that is seriously weird. And very off-putting. I revisited Tuesday night's pork belly Rogan Josh last night, and Gobbler's discussion was very much on my mind, so I focused on the mouth feel of the food, rather than the taste.
And I got to tell you pork belly chunks without flava are naaaaaaasty. This dish, which I would normally use all sorts of wanky superfluous words like "sumptuous" and "unctuous" becomes a very unpleasant experience. The pork skin is rubbery and chewy, the fat leaves a greasy mouth feel, and the bits of meat are akin to rolled up pieces of paper. It was like chewing on a condom filled with tissue scraps and lard.
A bag of potato chips (Salt and Vinegar) becomes a mouthful of wood chips that disintegrate to soggy cardboard and another greasy mouthfeel.
A pear is powdery, and leaves you feeling like you've coated your tongue with rice flour.
Noodles are nauseatingly slippery, as they scuttle across your tongue, with no flavour to give them any anchor in a food experience.
Same for green vegetables (in this case some brocollini). It was fibrous and chewy, and with no taste factor was like masticating a green twig.
Which is pretty much what brocollini is!
Slow braised chunks of beef feel like a wad of tissue paper is slowly disintegrating in your mouth. The individual strands of muscle become tasteless pap and the FEEL of the fibres is quite unpleasant.
Think about what our food LOOKS like... try and take away the flavour... and that's pretty much what it FEELS like.
It is any wonder then, that people in hospitals and care facilities lose interest in food? (and thus lose weight). If this is what awaits us as out taste buds deteriorate, either due to medication, pathology or aging, then it really is a worry.
Without flavour, foods, even my usual favourites, have become nauseatingly hard to digest. I know I needed that beef, vegie and noodle soup last night, to combat my lurgie but chewing on a fibrous wad of nothing, or slurping up soup only to have your cheeks coated in an oleaginous film, is NOT my idea of a food experience. Not matter HOW much I know I need it.
I can only hope that the antibiotics kick in soon, and I gets my flava back.