Youth, they say, is wasted on the young. But so too is taste. We start life with about 30,000 taste buds but by the time we’re adults only a third of these remain. Talk about sensory deprivation! It also makes sense why so many of us were repelled by vegetables when we were children. If you think that Brussels sprouts taste horrible now, try turning up the volume by two-thirds!
The fact is that we lose taste, we don’t gain it. So it is quite literal when we say that our tastes change as we get older. The cravings we have for sweets when we are young is replaced by more complex, sophisticated tastes of sour, salty and robust flavours, which explains why I enjoy a hearty meal of game and my granddaughters light up at the sight of ice cream.
It seems a waste that when we are young we are less adventurous with our food choice. We have the ability to taste more, but don’t have capacity to appreciate the experience. And so it is with many things when we are young.