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How you came to love a food you hate?

First of all, let me ask you a question: Why do tastes change, especially when it comes to dishes we detest?

It all goes back to our fundamental biology! David A. Levitsky, a professor of nutrition at Cornell says that “We are born with a sweet tooth preferring sweet taste. This is because of the fact that we have to recognize our mother’s milk. We develop a taste for salty food a few months after birth, which is because of the fact that they contain essential nutrients like sodium and potassium.”

We’re also born disliking bitter tastes. According to Dr. Levitsky, a bitter taste usually signals a potentially fatal substance. This prevents children from eating potentially dangerous substances! Individually, preferences of taste may develop while we are still in the womb. “Several studies have demonstrated that strongly flavored foods consume by the mother can affect the taste prefer of children, still in utero,” he explains. Hence, we can say that all humans prefer specific food from birth.

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In my case, mango is unequivocally my favorite fruit. I had absolutely no problem with mango, but a variant of its serving called “Aamras” put me off every time as a child. I used to abhor the drink. I don’t exactly remember the reason behind it and count it among my favorite foods today! For me, a summer without Aamras would be equivalent to a day without coffee – yes, THAT unimaginable!

We can learn to like new things with time. It was my story with mango: yours can be with anything else!

Basically, we’re born with a preference to sweet foods and hatred towards bitter stuff. But that’s not set for life! As we get older, we become more curious and try new foods, and end up liking some/most of them. This isn’t because of a change in the taste buds, it’s simply because of exposure. According to a study, it takes 15 times of eating a food after which you start liking it.

To me, drinking Aamras for 15 times when I was a child sounds to be an emotional torture. Of course, you shouldn’t force yourself to eat something you don’t like, but there’s no harm in giving a shot to something you are avoiding for a long time since childhood. It could be worth giving it another chance to see if it potentially slots in your daily routine!

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