Cultural Palates and the Changing Culinary Landscape

19 Oct

“Over the last two decades, international food has persistently been breaking the monotony of a land devoted to traditional gostilnas and the ever popular pizzerias. Despite the influx of relatively standardised Mexican and Chinese restaurants, real gourmets still found it hard to come across a decent place for asian food. Until [restaurant]”

Start to a Review of Asian Resturant, Slovene Times

Whilst this is obviously intended to create expectations of greatness for the restaurant, it also provides an interesting snapshot of the changing culinary cultural of Slovenia. Interestingly, there are maybe 5 Indian restaurants in Slovenia at best, and many people still think curry is simply the powder you get in jars.

Spice is not something the Slovenians are massive fans of, a view confirmed by a line in the review saying “seriously asian could mean overly spicy food”. Something which is “unacceptable” to the common palate.

The use of the phrase “common palate” is really interesting, pointing as it does to some sort of set of massive communal Slovenian taste buds that everybody makes use of. Yet it also raises a question. Namely, why do different cultures have different palates, and how much of this influences our own seemingly individual tastes?


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