Archives for: June 2005
I vividly remember a science experiment from my elementary school days that demonstrated that the flavor of food is more related to our sense of smell than our sense of taste. The teacher had taught us that we taste only sweet, salty, sour and bitter. The other variations of flavor are really our sense of smell. We, of course, didn't believe her.
She had a crisp apple and a crisp pear. One at a time she would blind fold us and have us tightly hold our noses. She gave us a bite of pear and a bite of apple. We could not tell the difference. It was amazing!
All of this comes back to me many years later because my husband is not enjoying his food. He does not have a good sense of smell. We often joke that if our house was on fire in the night, he would wake me saying, "Is that the fire alarm?" I would answer, "I can't hear a thing, but I smell smoke."
He long ago cut back on salt because of his blood pressure. He tries to cut back on sugar, because too much sugar is not good for anyone. Until the BTD he relied on pepper and vinegar to flavor his food - now both are on the Type A avoid list. He complained the other morning that everything tastes like cardboard to him.
He does not like the rich flavor of whole grains. The differences in flavor escape him completely. All he can tell is that they have a dryer texture. He does not like herb teas; they all taste the same to him. He likes eating in restaurants because the food is always generously salted and sweetened. However he does not want me to cook that way at home, because he wants to be healthy.
As I swam tonight, I was thinking about what I could do to make food taste better for him. Lemon juice has a tang like vinegar. He likes onions and garlic. I could use more curry. Now that the yearbook is finished, I need to experiment with some herbs and seasonings. I want him to be healthy, but I also want him to enjoy his meals.