What Makes Our Taste Preferences Mature As We Age?
Food or drinks, it really doesn't matter: tastes mature, either like spoiled milk or fine wine...
When I was a young boy, I was much more adventurous than most other kids around me when it came to my eating palette. I wasn't a picky eater by any stretch of the imagination, and I actually enjoyed trying new things. I would eat avocado, swiss chard, and I would wolf down a bunch of bananas as fast as I could. Then, as I added a few more years to my age, avocado suddenly became disgusting, swiss chard stayed the same, and bananas became even yummier (I still eat three a day usually, even now). Other foods would become introduced as I grew older, but each would have their own relationship with me. For example, coconut (and indeed its derivative- coconut milk) were disgusting back then and are disgusting now.
What is is, then, that causes our taste buds to mature in terms of food and drink? Oh, you were expecting an answer from me? I have no clue, but I can list some more things that my tastes have changed for. Moving out of the food realm happened at age 21 when alcohol became a legal treat for those special moments in life. Being a lifelong James Bond fan, my first legal drink was a vodka martini, shaken not stirred. Wow, was this a rude awakening to the world of alcohol. I actually quite like martinis now, albeit with a lot of ice, but I have never actually hated them. Many a bartender has raised their eyebrows as I order a martini when out, always quipping something along the lines of "most people your age don't order martinis." I don't know why alcohol is age based in terms of what people order, but it has always interested me.
Beer used to make me puke- now I enjoy the rare glass with a lunch out (lunch out, what a weird concept...) or after dinner with family or friends. Gin and tonics I have slowly developed an appreciation for, and wine has stayed fairly consistently repulsive. I hear an appreciation for wine gets better with age, so I will keep my fingers crossed and hope that maybe I will appreciate it more later in life. Not for the effect of it, but for the genuine pleasure I see people take talking about wine, tasting wine, and seeing the vineyards which are so unique and beautiful. I remember being in Italy a few years ago and visiting a vineyard. I sat and watched the people drink these pretty bottles of wine and wondering how people could look so happy drinking the stuff, while at the same time feeling slightly jealous of their enjoyment of wine. Needless to say, I enjoyed my tap water with ice all the same.