Adjusting Your Palate

This is quite a off-the-cuff topic that I’ve been thinking quite a lot about lately. People’s food likes and dislikes tend to get a lot of chatter, either for people’s “oh, I just can’t stand…” or strange appreciations. This is, if anything, about the opposite of that—have you actively courted a food to start liking it more? Is it something you’re interested in doing?

Over the course of this summer, I’ve been adjusting my palette so that I can enjoy eggs and tomatoes more, and it’s gone pretty well. I’m not quite at the stage where I could bite into a tomato like an apple yet, but the possibilities are unlimited. As someone with a few strong allergies, it’s been nice to be able to push my tastes into a more varied direction, since I know what it’s like when you just can’t eat something.

Growing up abroad & having a mom who likes cooking food from basically everywhere somewhat forced me to eat just about everything. However as a kid I was a pretty picky eater but I found that while I might not like a certain thing (sweet potatoes) I might enjoy them prepared in another way (Tempura). For the longest time I also hated spicy food but in high school I made it a point to start trying spicy food & now I love them. Girlfriend also had the same thing with cheese until she tried Gouda from the actual town of Gouda. Now we live next to a cheese shop & she has become a regular.

My advice for people who want to try to adjust their palette is try a thing that has a thing you dislike but isn’t the main course of the meal that way you can try it & if it’s too much you can stop (ie. I hate olives but can eat them without a problem if they are in an empanada or a chicken tagine) . Sauces and stews can help A LOT familiarize yourself with a flavor one that you might usually not be a fan of. Also don’t be afraid to cover the taste of something you dislike with something you do like.

Edit: Beets are disgusting unless they are in a Šaltibarščiai (Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup) which admittedly sounds & looks as good as Pepto Bismol.


The other day at the grocery store I saw a bottle of Beet & Cherry juice. I figured anything that sounds that disgusting must actually secretly be good, otherwise they wouldn’t make it since people wouldn’t buy it.

It’s not good. It’s not as disgusting as it sounds, but it’s still not good. The second glass was better than the first. I still have about 1.5 liters to get through. Maybe I’ll like it at the end.


You hit the nail on the head! This is the way I learned to love anchovies!

To the question at hand: I feel this is almost a universal experience with drinking coffee black. At first I was like “how can anyone drink this?” but then I started needing the energy more consistently , and getting all the sugar and cream and the like is a whole ordeal so I started just forcing myself to drink it black. Then I learned about all the different ways to make coffee and suddenly I was loving it all the more. I still try to limit myself to one cup a day during the week, but it’s always a treat!

But also @robowitch, as an advocate of tomatoes, I hope to never bite into one like an apple :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

At a young age my mom always had the family eat food from different cultures and with how my Grandma always make the same dinners I went out of my way to change my diet with different foods. So in a way my palate can handle a lot specially foods that people find too bitter.

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It’s funny, it was actually my family’s lack of…world-ism? and my mother’s distaste for cooking that in the end got me going on expanding my taste palate.

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I have been suck a picky eater for my entire life. I was a chicken tenders and potatoes kind of teenager. However, my mom rewarded me as a kid by giving me $1 every time I tried something new. That actually helped a bit. But my driving force now is trying new things with my boyfriend so that we can cook/eat a more diverse set of meals and cuisines.

As a kid, I didn’t like veggies except for like… corn. That’s about it. So eventually my parents gave up and lil Slammi was not forced to eat stuff that she didn’t wanna eat. As a kid, that feels like a win. As an adult, it sucks.

I’ve been trying to get my body to actively let me eat more veggies and mostly it’s worked out. I still can’t do lettuce, it actively makes me gag unless it’s hidden within something like a chicken wrap or a burger. Every time I’ve tried to eat salad, my body just rejects it and I throw up. Even when I love how that salad tastes. I don’t know what the deal is. But it’s getting better, it’s just taking time.

Brussel sprouts were a big success for me and I love having roast garlic pepper brussel sprouts alongside stuff like steak or pork for sure. Carrots are doable now, easy. Onion is great in anything it’s in. Tomatoes, I love the taste of, but I can’t handle them in raw slices. Chunks are fine, cooked it’s fine, but raw slices the texture is just gross.

As an adult, coffee has been a forced-to-aquire taste. Animation projects in college forced me there. I enjoy it a lot now, just not all the time like I had to have it for a while. I try to keep away from caffeine when I can. Sometimes I can’t. Enjoying coffee helps those sometimes not suck.

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Recently I got into fish after “hating” it for the first 20 years of my life. Tried sushi for the first time and LOVED IT. God I still can’t stop thinking about it, it’s so good. And expensive.

However, this led to me trying other seafood, like crab and fried fish (had fried red snapper this weekend, that’s really good). Still not a big fan of most of it outside of sushi and sashimi, but I’m glad I no longer have this huge category of food that I avoid and I am more open to trying things in general.

Speaking of using stews to familiarize oneself with flavors, that’s how I found out clams aren’t that bad.

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I don’t know what it is, but I’m actively afraid of trying new foods. This is based on their look and smell as much as it is sometimes based on their ingredients. Just looking or smelling something can turn my stomach.

For instance, I’ve always been disgusted by cheese. I’ve never really eaten it, and never plan to. I can’t bring myself to. The same is true of things like sour cream, yogurt, salsa, mustard, mayonnaise, spaghetti, and a lot of Mexican or Italian foods. I’ve never eaten pizza or lasagna.

I don’t hate plain noodles, but they don’t do a lot for me.