EVER wonder why the foods that made you opt out of dinner and even dessert as a child appeal to you more as you get older?
Research released by Roaming Cow Dairies confirms older Aussies have a more "discerning palate" than their younger generations and have a more sophisticated sense of taste when it comes to foods like Greek yoghurt, vintage cheddar, boutique wines and cheeses.
Roaming Cow surveyed 500 Australians between the ages of 18-24 and 41-50 and found older Australians are not only able to spot the difference in quality and tastes but are also more likely to shop for food at diverse, specialty locations, avoid artificial ingredients and are less perturbed by smelly foods like blue cheese.
The survey found:
- 75% of those surveyed felt their taste for finer foods had improved with age.
- 90% of older Australians rated taste as very or extremely important when buying food, compared to 73% of 18-24 year olds.
- 89% agreed their tastes for certain flavours have changed since they were younger.
- Older Australians were more likely to shop at local markets, the deli and green grocers.
- 75% of older Australians agreed they thoroughly enjoyed the experience of tasting and comparing different kinds of foods.
- Younger Aussies said they enjoyed food but preferred to stick to basic ingredients and flavours while older Australians preferred cooking with fresh ingredients.
- Older Australians also preferred to cook for themselves - 45% eat out less than once per month and 49% eat store-prepared meals less than once a month, compared to only 23% and 29% respectively for younger respondents.
Roaming Cow has partnered with wine educator Chris Barnes, a palate expert, who says that while it's true you become more switched on to different tastes as you age, younger Australians who are aspiring foodies shouldn't be put off - you can train your palate.
"I'm a strong believer that a discerning palate is about experience, not a magic age when everything tastes glorious," Mr Barnes said.
"In fact the skills applied when tasting wine can equally be applied to appreciate other foods.
"Australians should want more complexity in their food, and a greater variety of real flavours and better textures.
"We all have the ability to discern the true flavours of good fresh ingredients - you just need practise."
Top taste tips
- Give it a go - you won't know until you try. Put yourself out of your comfort zone and you will be surprised.
- Less ingredients doesn't mean less taste - in fact it is usually the reverse.
- Breathe deep - flavour is all about smell and the messages your brain receives when you eat. Try letting the air circulate in your mouth and notice the difference.
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