The Great Plotnik

Monday, July 29, 2013

Thoughts About Taste

Yesterday's chocolate cake discovery has The Plotster thinking about what makes for good taste. Every wine taster knows that wine tastes different according to what you are eating. Even if you are just sitting at a bar drinking, the second and third sips don't taste like the first.

That's what smokers say about that first drag in the morning. It is definitely true about the first swallow of coffee.

Give Plotnik a piece of chocolate cake and he wants that cup of coffee. Why? He needs hot sauce with any food that isn't highly spiced. Why? He loves the taste of bacon but the smell of bacon fat makes him sick to his stomach. Same with liver, any kind, even the tiniest bit. One taste and he has to spit it out. Why?

Obviously psychology is involved. He thinks that Destination Bakery chocolate cake had to have been the same texture and the same chocolate-to-fat ratio as his Mom's chocolate cake from when he was a child, because it tasted way better to him than it probably was. Maybe it's more than that, though, because everyone at the table, adults and children, felt the same way about that cake, and we all had different moms. But Plotnik more so.

Smell is important too -- that's probably why bbq tastes so good. We associate the smell of
smoking meat with goodness. It's also why coffee sipped through a styrofoam lid has so little taste - you can't smell the coffee the second before you swallow it.

If you think of the foods you really dislike, it's probably the smell that does it to you. Plotnik remembers  eating at Canter's with his first stepfather Harold and Grandpa Ben. Both of them ordered cabbage soup. Harold's family was Hungarian, Ben's Rumanian. Obviously, that smell reminded both of them of the goodness of home. But it stunk so much to little Plottie that he can remember it to this day -- and Harold died in 1959.

But the smell of the pastrami at Katz's (also Rumanian style)? Fawgeddaboudit. Add in the pickles? Gedoudahere. Heaven on Earth.

But could he eat a piece of that chocolate cake after a pastrami sandwich with half a dozen sour pickles?

Nope. So it's more than taste. Maybe just good taste.


At 12:00 PM, Anonymous HankyGirl said...

Don't know how this fits in (and you don't need to read the entire article),

but clearly you're a 7-digit kind of guy.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger mary ann said...

yummy photo and post ~ $50 isn't a lot anymore for a cake that serves so many


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