A typical diet of a person is based on a routine. In the morning the same old sandwiches. A cup of tea with the same flavour each time. At lunch, sandwiches with often the same ingredients: salade spread, maybe something sweet as ‘hagelslag’. And even for the evening meal, the same routine continues. People often rotate between 5 to 10 dishes in a month. Of course it has advantages. Streamlined process being done for years require far less decision making and energy. It goes naturally and automatic. But it is of course far from exciting.
Eating the same food selection every day and week, naturally causes your taste buds becoming custom to it. Compare this with your other senses. The strong smell only resonates for a short time, after which it fades to the background. When you hear a constant sound a similar thing happens: it quickly fades to the background. To hear or smell it again, you need to step out of your surroundings and come back in. You have to change your perspective.
The same thing happens with your taste. I’m sure you are all aware that often the food at your friends place tastes so much better. Or the free sandwiches at an event tastes better then you could imagine. It all has to do with perspective. As I talked about in my article on becoming vegan, I made major shifts in my diet over the last year. It changed my perspective on food and cooking enormously.
There are a few memorable stories I want to share on this topic. Let me start by telling you about a little challenge that I did in the beginning of this year. I cooked for 5 days only Indian food. It completely changed my perspective on the Indian cuisine. Before the challenge I did made curries but never really thought about the complete picture and actually finding a proper recipe. Inspired by a video the BrothersGreenEat did on Youtube (highly recommend watching), I took the challenge. I went to the Amazing Oriental store near my house and bought every little ingredient I needed. Species I never heard about, vegetables a never seen before. It was a trip to remember. During the week I made red, green, ‘orange’ curries, my own sourdough naan-bread, etc. It tasted amazing! All the new flavours enriched my perspective!
Another story is the weekend sesshin that I did in May of this year. Two days of intense meditation with no eye contact and talking, apart from moments when we were allowed to share our experiences. I can surely say that being so still, having so little input, being so in yourself for that time, you will experience every sensation on a whole different level. The food tasted out of this world. Every bite was done with some much intention, so much care, that it shakes your world. Again, creating a completely new perspective on food.
About a year ago a tried with every shopping trip to buy ingredients that I didn’t bought the week before. It stretched me to be creative with food and to eat something that I wouldn’t have bought easily. It enriched my knowledge and perspective.
So how can you change your perspective on food? How can you enrich your taste buds? Personally I think that doing a mini challenge on a different cuisine is very powerful and easy to do. I highly recommend doing it. Maybe you will come across your new favourite dish that you can then put on your rotation list 😉