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Teach Your Tongue New Tricks

Teach Your Tongue New Tricks

Scientists may say we only have five distinct tastes—sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami, which means “savory”—but some taste buds have their owner convinced there is a sixth, undiscovered taste when it comes to healthy foods.

Its name? “Yuck!”

That’s not to say there is not some truth in the idea that some people do not like the taste of certain foods: DNA, where you were raised and a sensitive palate all play a part in determining the foods your mouth prefers. But while some people think their flavor-tasters are hard-wired to not like fruit, veggies and food items of the sort, health experts say with a bit of “retraining” tongues can learn to like at least some of the foods of which they are so adamantly opposed.

*Beans: Besides the obvious digestive issues, people also complain of earthy flavors and a mushy texture. Pair them with beef or dark chicken meat, or puree them to add to soups and dips.

*Dark, Leafy Greens: They can be bitter, but you can learn to counteract the less than appealing taste with sour flavors, like lemon juice or vinegar, or a rich cheese or dressing.

*Tofu: It’s bland, but the cool thing about this bean curd is that it is trained to pick up whatever flavor with which you mix it up. Try coating tofu with herbs or breading to make it tastier.

*Fatty Fish: Thwart that “fishy taste” by soaking fish in milk for an hour (in the refrigerator), discarding milk and patting dry before cooking. Serve with a strong dressing or sauce and you won’t notice its bad body odor!

[Eating Well]

Posted: 6/9/08