Monday, February 28, 2011

Top 10 Acquired Tastes

I remember growing up being told by my parents 'I knew you wouldn't like that, it's an ACQUIRED taste'.  My parents rarely if ever explained the meanings of phrases like this to me, and if they did, often they were wrong.  I grew up under the mistaken notion that if you thought something was bad, you could acquire a taste for it through sophistication and education.  This is far from the truth.  The only thing you need to acquire a taste for anything is prolonged exposure.  There are of course certain exceptions for everyone.  I for instance would never be able to acquire a taste for parsnips.  Exposure will not help this because after eating a bad one or too many (I really don't remember)  I threw up.  Ever since, my brain has equated parsnips with various poisons that I should steer clear of.  Anyway,  Listed below are acquired tastes that I may or may not have acquired myself.

10.  Coffee - Who invented this horrible tasting excuse for automotive oil?  You have to drink it hot because if it's cool it tastes even worse.  People acquire this taste over time due to the other benefits of coffee namely the incredible amount of caffeine it contains.  I've tried coffee a couple of times.  I just couldn't keep the exposure going to get a taste for it.  I really love the smell of coffee, but the flavor seems to be completely unrelated unless you douse it with lots of cream and sugar.

9. Beer - Another beverage that seems to have wide appeal but no flavor worth mentioning.  They try really hard to make sure that it looks appetizing on TV by surrounding it with scantily clad women.  What does that have to do with the flavor of anything?  It's a well known fact that a grown man will drink paint thinner in the presence of a scantily clad woman and believe it to be a fine tasting nectar.  The other side of beer is the alcohol in it.  If it weren't for the mind numbing effects of beer, nobody would drink it at all.  I have never tried an alcoholic model of beer, but have tried several of the non-alcoholic versions.  Each one tasting like coffee grounds in seltzer water.

8. Venison - 'You just haven't had it cooked right' is the phrase most closely associated with this A.T.  Unless your deer were kept in a pen and fed corn throughout their sad little lives, Deer tastes horrible.  I know there are those out there that will disagree and love the flavor of this and many other semi-wild game that can be shot in proper season.  I say yuck.

7. Swearing - When you are a kid and you hear your first swear word (usually said by your parents).  You save it for a rainy day.  You want to be like mom and dad so when you are really mad at something you can let loose.  Mom tells you that this is not the way we talk and she shouldn't do it either.  Now we've added an air of mystery.  These must be MAGIC words.  You don't want to say them, but then you hear some of the more rowdy kids at school using that self same language.  You give it a try.  Wow, something really felt weird when you finally gave it a try.  The next time it became a little easier and you got the timing a little better.  Fast forward to your car on the way to work for the umpteenth time and some @#^*( Idiot clearly didn't go to a @#(*$ Driving school because otherwise they would have grown a @(%**!! Brain!!!

6.  Tea - Not as difficult a taste to acquire as Coffee, but it has a flavor that starts out mildly objectionable but then ebbs into a delightful repast.  I am a tea drinker.  It's my drink of choice.  It's high on acid so I have to watch out for my pet ulcer, but before tea I was drinking about 4 cans of Dr. Pepper a day and I hear tell that isn't so great for the tummy either.

5. Smoking - The easiest of tastes to acquire, smoking is always abhorrent at first.  The fine people at Phillip Morris have been legally allowed to put in all kinds of chemicals that make sure that you continue to acquire the taste for their product.  Sure it will kill you, but nobody lives forever right?  mmmmm...smoke.  Now they have these E-cigarettes that should be all the rage.  Get your nicotine fix and get away from the stink and taxes involved with smoking.  Of course if you get away from the smoking, how will we ever pay for health care?!?  Be on the lookout for E-Cig Taxes.  Stock up now.

4. Music - I say music because it really depends on your flavor of tune.  Growing up, I was a rock'n'roller.  Loved the current hits loved the classics.  When I heard country for the first time I thought someone had taken musical instruments and fashioned them into some form of aural torture.  Yet I didn't mind folk music.  Later in life I decided to test my theory of exposure in the musical field.  I decided to start listening to a rap station just so I could gain an appreciation of the genre.  3 weeks later, I was into all the artists and knew most of the songs and had my favorites.  It's an interesting experiment.  The most difficult music to gain an appreciation for is probably fusion jazz.  It's cacophonous ramblings are pretty hard for the uninitiated to take.

3. Capers - Once again, in my childhood, I found capers to be salty little bits of disgust that I would no sooner put in my mouth than a piece of chalk.  I revisited capers in a restaurant salad and found them to be delightful.  It really adds something to the ensemble.  This only required time and not exposure which I find odd.  Perhaps it is the exposure to salt that gave me a flavor for the little green bits of fun.

2. Reading - Remember back when English was a strange language that you were learning.  You probably can't remember that far.  It was harrowing.  You would try to say words and your parents would be constantly correcting you.  Once you had a basic grasp of the spoken language, they thrust you into this building full of other young acolytes seeking to learn how to be adults.  Reading became a part of your routine, but it didn't come easily.  Now you had to take your freshly learned language skills and apply them to the written word.  There were a LOT of words you didn't know.  You were encouraged to look them up.  If you kept with it, you would start to really enjoy reading.  Until you got to college where you would learn to hate reading again because any time you would read for enjoyment, you would feel guilty about not reading your particularly boring homework assignment that was not written for the love of writing, but rather for the old adage 'publish or perish'.

1. Oysters - I tried these from dad's plate growing up.  YUCK.  Slimy and fishy these things were anything but good.  Now I buy them in bulk.  I find them to be a very satisfying snack, but early on?  yuck.  It's much better in this case to not think about what you are eating.  Much Much better.

Surely not all of them.  I forgot to mention this blog that would most appropriately be labeled an Acquired Taste.

Tell your friends!

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