Food should be selected and consumed to nourish our body and satisfy our senses. We all have preferences and without much education, we know what we love or dislike to eat. The below information, however, might give you a glimpse into how taste is interpreted by our brain and make you enjoy even more your favourite ice cream or another treat. By the way, the higher levels of experienced pleasure аrе also related to a reported faster satiety, which is one more reason to consider satisfying thoroughly your senses.
Taste is created by blending the signals 1. from the tongue (sweet, salty, bitter, sour) with 2. the aromas inhaled and exhaled through the nose and 3. the tactile sensation by chewing the food in your mouth. These signals are then received by the brain and interpreted according to our current state of mind. That is why, all details matter: the shape of the dish, the spoon, the surrounding atmosphere, your mood, are we hungry or not, the memories and associations we have with that particular food and the good company, of course. That is how the olfactory image is modified by the state of mind we have in that particular moment.
These multisensory signals, activate in the brain not just the respective centres for flavour and for taste, but much wider surrounding areas. We have much less olfactory receptors that animals, but our brains have many more connections, that allow us to have much richer experience in terms of taste and pleasure we derive from food, thanks to our intelligence. That is why, as kids we usually prefer simpler, cleaner flavours. Growing up we develop our brain areas, amongst which also the ones responsible for interpreting the taste and we begin to like foods like the bitter coffee, chocolate or beer. Thanks to our memories, the associations we build and the more developed brain, we are then able to enjoy more diverse foods and complex flavour combinations.
Try to make out of every meal a small celebration or a personal ritual. Even if it is a very short one! Focusing your attention on the food will make you enjoy it more and take a mental note of the food you are having, so that your brain records the fact that you have eaten already and that you have experienced some pleasant feelings.
We challenge you, to take a few ice cream varieties and carry out a small degustation ceremony, as described here: www.coppadellamaga.co.uk/connoisseurs-ice-cream/degustation/
Notice the fine nuances that you might have never been consciously aware of before and you will experience a much greater pleasure from your ice cream or other food. Because with dining, as with most fine things in life, all details matter…