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7 Tasteful Tips on How to Improve Your Palate ...

By Lyndsie

To become a true foodie, you have to learn how to improve your palate. Knowing how to discern even the subtlest flavor profile will enhance both your palate and the whole experiencing of eating delicious, flavorful food. Besides that, being a great cook is dependent on having a knowledgeable, expert palate. For some people it comes naturally, but others have to work for it. The good news is that you can teach yourself — you just have to learn how to improve your palate through practice and knowledge.

1 Know Your Tastes

Do you have taste? Your clothes might look fabulous, your makeup might be flawless, and your accessories might be perpetually on-point, but that doesn't mean you have taste. When you're learning how to improve your palate, the first step is recognizing the five basic tastes. Sweet tastes are pleasurable, generally caused by sugars and other sweeteners. Your sour tastes recognize any acidity in your food. Saltiness recognizes the presence of salt, of course, while bitterness, probably the most sensitive of the five, responds to sharp, biting, and often unpleasant flavors. Finally, umami is savory, typically pointing to meats, cheeses, and things of that nature.

2 Try Something New Every Day

Just because you're trying to refine your palate doesn't mean you should become a food snob. Quite the contrary, start trying something new every single day. By trying new foods, even if they're things you've previously shied away from, you're training your taste buds to recognize new flavors and combinations. How else will you be able to tell if something is bitter, salty, or sweet?

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3 Savor It Fully

Then again, just because you're constantly trying new things doesn't mean you should just wolf down all those new foods. You have to savor each bite. Let new flavors explode in your mouth. As you eat, pay attention to flavors, textures, and smells. In fact...

4 Don't Forget Your Other Senses

All your senses play a part in your eating experience. They can even affect the way you react to food. If you see something unappetizing, for instance, you're going to make an assumption that it tastes bad, when it could be the most delicious thing you've ever tried. You have to rely on sight, smell, and touch, of course, but don't let them get in your way. Dine in the dark sometimes. Let your nose guide you to new treats.

5 Experiment with Spices

Spices please your palate. There is a whole world of spices out there, spices you've never even tried before. By experimenting with new spices, you'll introduce your palate to new flavor profiles and you'll learn to differentiate between those tastes. By coming to recognize spices, you'll be able to enjoy new cuisines even more – plus you'll be able to pick out all the different elements in them.

6 Always Cleanse Your Palate

If you're on a culinary adventure, like some sumptuous five course meal, you've got to keep your palate cleansed and fresh. Otherwise, each course will contain elements of the last, and that can interfere with your pleasure. Yes, you can absolutely eat a few spoonfuls of orange sorbet, but you can also suck an orange or lemon wedge, eat a cracker, or try a bread stick. Drink plenty of water, too!

7 Cut the Salt

Many gourmets recommend getting rid of the salt for a while. Salt definitely has its place, but it's a common practice to completely over-salt your food. Instead, try leaving the salt alone for about a week. Doing so will make it much easier to recognize all those other tastes and spices. Besides, it will be so much healthier for you – you'll be cutting down on so much sodium! You can actually try doing the same with sugar, as well. You can't cut it completely but you can use less or look for sugar replacements.

Improving your palate really does make food taste better. If you're into becoming a foodie, a true gourmet or gourmand, you have to work for it – but this is one case where the homework is sure to be fun! How would you rate your palate on a scale of 1 to 10? Are you good at picking out separate, subtle flavors?

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