A refined sense of taste used to be a form of survival, but as humans evolved, we no longer need this particular skill. But having a sophisticated palate can help you be more adventurous with your meals when, for example, you dine at a gourmet restaurant or travel to a foreign country. Having a sophisticated palate can also expand your diet, exposing you to new and different foods instead of sticking to the same-old “usual.” Here are a few ways to create a more sophisticated palate.
Take Your Time
Rushing through meals prevents you from enjoying what you are eating and taking in the different flavors. So the next time you sit down for a meal, take your time. Notice the sensation the food or drink creates in your mouth. In between dishes, cleanse your palate to be more conscious of the different ingredients in each mouthful.
Use Your Sense of Smell
Your sense of smell is responsible for a large percentage of your sense of taste. So when you concentrate on the scents of your food and drink, you can begin to distinguish the flavors – from salty and bitter to sour and sweet. You also are better able to identify aromas and discern more complicated smells, which opens you up to appreciating new foods, ways of cooking, and other cultures.
Embrace New Flavors
Think back to the first time you had a sip of wine…or coffee. It’s possible you crinkled your nose and thought, “How could anybody drink this!?” Now, it’s possible you love the taste of both. This phenomenon is a prime example of how you can train your palate to embrace different flavors.
Once you start focusing your attention on the flavors and scents of your meals, you should begin to notice some distinctive and remarkable nuances, especially as you begin opening yourself up to new foods. There may be ingredients, seasonings, textures, and ways of combining them that you have never been exposed to. At first, they may feel strong, odd, or even unappealing, but as you break down the aromas, ingredients, and tastes, you will find that your palate is becoming more refined.