Eels have extra large taste buds—did you know that?!
I’ve just started to read, The Instant Wine Connoisseur, by Mervyn L. Hecht. Obviously the first thing I would take away from the book is probably the most irrelevant. So what did I learn about wine today? That I’m jealous of eels because they have big taste buds? Great start Frances.
Even though my taste buds aren’t as large as those of eels, I am quite an avid ‘taster’ (and size probably has nothing to do with tasting ability anyways, but I will have to do some more eel research to let you know the answer on that one). I love tasting— probably the reason why I’m no longer hungry by the time my dinner is cooked and why I am already a bit tipsy after making my first cocktail. Oops!
I find flavor to be incredibly captivating. I believe that this is why I so often take on the role of ‘mixologist,’ whether it be when making drinks for friends or when throwing together a meal.
I’m beginning, however, to recognize the difference between mixing and extracting flavors. I do a lot of mixing of flavors, but what about extracting—deciphering what exactly the flavors are that I am tasting? Wines of course pose an extra challenge because you are trying to extract ‘hints of this’ and ‘overtones of that.’ Of course this wine is reminiscent of dark chocolate and cherries. Obviously this one tastes like cigar box. Do I even know what cigar box tastes like? This brings up how interconnected all of our senses are, and how vital smell is to any flavor we taste.
But regardless of whether one can tell that a wine tastes of cigar box and/or black current, truly taking the time to fully taste what we are drinking or eating is something worth looking into. Our fast-pasted lifestyles seem to have left behind the ‘tasteful’ tradition of actually listening to our telling taste buds. I will spare you of yet another comparison of French culture to American culture, but the French certainly do have an appreciation for food and drink that we seem to be lacking over here in the USA.
Cheers to finding cigar boxes in our glass of wine and to the eels that have allowed us to discover more about what makes our taste buds so wonderful and special!