Sunday, August 30, 2009

Getting Those Taste Buds Back in Shape

While I agree with the wisdom of Homer Simpson that you don’t make friends with salad I would have to maintain that there are seasons where a salad can be a revelation. Farmer’ Markets are currently teeming with fresh produce that could convert any vegetable hater. Experimenting with salads is also a great way to de-sensitize your taste buds.
Years of processed, over flavored food have made most of us oblivious too what proper food should really taste like. Over the years, ours pallets have been bombarded with over-seasoned foods-foods processed with an abundance of sugar, fat and salt—so much so that we now come to expect that everything should taste like a bag of Doritos.
In his very detailed book, The End of Overeating, Dr David Kessler examines how our brains not only function with regard to what he refers to as “hyper-palatable foods” but also how our thought process has evolved in this brave new food world. According to Kessler, most of us have become “conditioned, hyper-eaters”; our brains, Kessler contends, have been re-wired to seek out food that keeps fueling our reward system.
Autumn is always a happy time for me. The harvest brings with it a humbling awareness; a conscious wakefulness to the fact that everything we need can be provided to us by the land and the farmers who work them. If we truly open our eyes to this knowledge the next time we pick up that bag of frozen vegetables maybe you’ll see it under a different light.

Fig.2. This time of the year my salads have as much Heirloom tomatoes
that I can fit in the bowl.

I'm officially on the tomato hunt, let me know of any interesting tomato varieties out there and where I can get them--my sauce depends on it.