We normally think that taste and smell are the most important components of enjoying our food.
They are important but we eat with all of our senses.
A dill pickle or potato chip (crisp) doesn't taste right if we don't hear the snap and crunch.
Chefs know this. Careful presentation of their efforts is part of the culinary experience.
We food bloggers know this. We/I carelessly let our food get cold while we try for just the right exposure to highlight a dish.
Texture is important. My DS won't eat potatoes – doesn't like the texture. For the same reason I don't eat oysters.
Our eyes can do wonderful things for us and to us. If something looks good we expect it to taste good; and if it looks like dog shit, well……
When I was in college my cousin had a boyfriend that worked for a Coca Cola bottling company. In addition to Coke and Sprite they bottled a wide range of flavored soft drinks (under another name): orange, root beer, grape, grapefruit, etc. He used to be able to get the 'mistakes' for about 25% of normal cost. The soft drinks were fine; they were just in the wrong cans.
We were supposed to know what was where – but never did. We'd decide to have a Rum and Coke, crack open a can of grape and end up with a Rum and Root Beer.
The two of us were 'in the know'. It was an adventure. We were prepared. We knew our eyes were deceiving us.
Meanwhile, back at my dorm, one of the girls that lived there was a 'Cokaholic' and a bit of a know it all. She would only drink Coke, no Pepsi or, heaven forbid, RC Cola for her! She could (she claimed) pick out the Coke blindfolded with the tiniest of sips from any number of cola pretenders.
How could I resist? I took a 12-pack of 'Surprise Pop' back to school with me. The cans were either 'Lemon-Lime', 'Grape' or 'Root Beer'. They were all supposed to be filled with Coke. That night, at our weekly popcorn party, I generously offered everyone a soft drink. My picky friend was the first to taste hers. (Sometimes, luck just smiles on me!). She took a big drink of her 'Grape' ….and spewed it all over the room and everyone in it. "What the hell is this crap?" "It's awful!" "It's spoiled!" "I'm going to die!"
The sight of me rolling on the floor laughing did help, er, calm her a bit. By the time I could talk the rest of the gang had opened theirs and were gingerly inspecting the contents. I explained that all of the cans contained, pure, uncontaminated Coca Cola! My cola expert friend took another sip, this time, knowing what was in the can. "Of course" she declared. "It's delicious, as always". She happily drank the rest.
As for the rest of us, I was wrong about about the contents – we had a root beer, a grape (in the wrong can) and an orange mixed in with the cokes. It was an interesting 'taste test'. And it rather begs the question: Does Coke actually taste good or do we drink it because we're programmed to?
Oh, and the rather unappetizing stuff in the photo? Wild boar pate that my neighbor made – it may look like shit but it tastes fantastic!