Friday, 25 April 2008

Does Taste Change?

This morning's breakfast prompted a deep philosophical question. It is partly derived from my frustration when someone in my family, perfectly happy to eat a certain food one day, suddenly says a week later: I don't like that. "But you did last week." "Well now I don't like it anymore." And I'm not only talking about my children here.

I think in this case it may be erratic wilfulness and control issues. But in all seriousness, do people's tastes make such dramatic reversals? Even in the long term? I know, for example, that my taste buds have certainly dulled to some extent over the years. I like my tea much stronger now. There are spirits I drink neat that make most people whince. And I seem to like things that are unbearably salty to others. This is all to be expected. But I mean just a complete about face. Some food or dish you liked and don't anymore.

How and why could this happen is what I'm wondering. Barring traumatic experience, or association, how can taste possibly change? I see how ideas can change influencing taste. Would eat meat in the past, but now as an ethical vegetarian, I wont eat meat, and it is no longer appealing. But how about with no such ideological underpinning? How does this happen? Physiologically?

You're wondering what this has to do with my breakfast? In an act of desperation and with practically nothing in the house (when I'm away my the shopping really doesn't get done, and I'm made to feel guilty for wanting to buy fresh food rather than rummage - though rummage I did) I rediscovered a breakfast dish I used to eat over a decade ago. I must have thought of it, but maybe winced at the idea, as some absurd error of my untoward youth. A gastronomic puerilism, perverse in proportion and inspiration.

Now I say, ah no. This was a flash of insight I could only had before any rules were ingrained in my head. It sounds really disgusting, even to me now, but I assure you it is magnificent. I have two bites left. Tastes, do not change, apparently.

Now that they're gone, I'll give you the recipe.

Curried Tuna Egg Burrito

Heat a flour burrito over an open flame on both sides until a little scorched. Cook two beaten eggs and a pinch of salt in a pan with butter, not scrambling, but just let cook slowly into a flat omelette. Make sure it isn't stuck to the pan. On top add some tuna (Bumblebee solid in water, drained) moistened with a generous dollop of mayo. Flatten it out. Then sprinkle generously with a commercial curry powder. (You really can't use a good freshly ground garam masala.) Then add a seeded chopped tomato to the top. And a grind of pepper. Put the burrito on top. Let gently heat through. Turn over carefully onto a board, roll up and slice in half.

Trust me, this is REALLY good. What was I thinking to doubt it?

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