Changing tastes: the wandering palate
Our tastes can and do change over time for a variety of reasons. Do you now dislike something you used to love, or vice-versa?
I still don’t know why it happened. I used to love white wine, knew of nothing nicer with a piece of fish, thought little more perfect than a misted glass of it in the sunshine. It felt right with certain foods, at certain times of day, in certain moods. I savoured and studied its permutations, regions and styles. I thought we were fixed for life.
And then, over the last few months, something changed in my brain, nose or mouth. White wine slumped from exquisite nectar to slightly qualified pleasure to just about fine to something I didn’t seem to want any more. Eventually I could barely touch the stuff.
We know that our appreciation for individual tastes is transient. Air pressure affects the way food tastes on planes. After a big main course, you might have no desire to eat anything savoury but still have space for pudding. Pregnant women often suffer strange cravings and uncomfortable taste changes as well. But in addition to these acute fluctuations, as we age our palates can change forever.