Monday, February 22, 2010

Acquired Tastes

From acquired taste   

n.  One that is unpleasant on immediate experience or is likeable only after being experienced repeatedly.

Oh hai. I don't like beer. I have never liked beer. I have tried it before and I know what it tastes like and I know that I don't like it. So on the many occasions when people have learned this about me I am faced with the question, "How can you not like beer?!" and we go through the discussion about how it is an acquired taste and how if I just try hard enough, after a certain amount of time, surely I will like it then. How if I just try it again and again and again, a time will come when I may come to enjoy it.

This has always struck me as very very odd. How on earth can the solution to trying something and disliking it  be to put yourself through trying it over and over and over again until it 'isn't so bad'? From the wikipedia page for "acquired taste": "Intentionally changing one's preferences can be hard to accomplish. It usually requires a deliberate effort, such as acting as if one likes something in order to have the responses and feeling that will produce the desired taste." This concept is so weird to me. And not I wouldn't think weird in a way that should be surprising to anyone. It is sort of an obvious fundamentally strange thing about human nature. If you google "acquired taste beer" you will find all sorts of articles teaching you "How to Enjoy the Taste of Beer" which generally is "drink it again and again and again and eventually you may develop a taste for it".

I plan to continue not ingesting things that taste horrible on rumour that someday they may taste good. But that's just me. And I'm an acquired taste. 


Bryan Raydio said...

Oh hi. I like beer. I haven't always liked beer. I have tried it before and I know what it tastes like and I know that I like it.

Once upon a time I didn't like beer. I thought it tasted like... well... beer. I drank it anyway, because real men drink beer. Eventually, as I got older and drank more beer, I began to enjoy beer. I tried different beers and liked some even more. Now, I love beer. Love.

Scotch tastes like rubbing alcohol to most people. Even to most beer drinkers. It did to me when I first tried it too. I have since educated myself a bit more about it, and now enjoy it. I don't quite love it as I do beer, but I can now foresee the day that I will. It is a fine beverage. The beauty lies beyond the harshness. Your palate, or mind, or something anyway, learns to block out the tartness and appreciate the subtle flavours created by a beautiful process.

I thought wine would be similar, but then I figured out it was just crappy wine that tastes crappy.

I've also found that some people can acquire the taste of people. I've seen it happen. "You're weird" turns into "I adore you". Strange but true.

I'm now trying to acquire a taste for this blog. It's a slow process, but some things are worth spending some time to get to know better.