I have a really sensitive mouth.
Perhaps I should rephrase that. My tastebuds react to pepper, spices and other “hot flavourings” like a mountain forest fire on a 40C summer’s day after a wet spring and a long dry summer. The tiniest, tinniest hint of a spice and my entire mouth burns, my eyes water, nose streams and I gulp for water. The mildest of mild flavourings and the same result! When the rest of the family enjoy a medium spicy curry I am eating plain rice.
I am told that I make quite a good curry, even by Mr FD’s late father who grew up eating curries prepared by local cooks in Ceylon, but I wouldn’t know as I never taste them – not even to adjust flavourings. It would be akin to burning at the stake to me.
My daughters argue that it is because I grew up with a plain Jane cook for a mother. Overcooked meat and three vegetables boiled within an inch of their life was our custom menu. Exotic was making a cottage pie! However, I argue with their argument. I think I was just created a delicate creature and my taste buds are no less sensitive than the rest of my body and soul.
So the fashion in recent years for adding chilli to absolutely everything, even chocolate, has meant my diet has been severely restricted and somewhat repetitive. Is there no thought for the individualism in tastes anymore? I hazard an opinion that it is to hide inferior ingredients – make the horse meat more palatable in case of point.
Another issue is the penchant to sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds atop breads and other foods, as mere decoration. Not enough to add flavour but too many for a person who needs to avoid small tiny seeds like sesame or poppy in their diet to maintain life. It means that if I buy bread rolls I have to cut it in half to exchange a top for a bottom with Mr FD who can withstand a double dose of seeds. It really annoys me when I get to almost the end of my roll, and look at the bottom bottom and see that seeds have collected there in the baking process as well.
You can imagine the fun of bottom sharing when we buy takeout burger! Mr FD always winds up with the extra sauce and mayo as they are always placed on the top too!
So, when I am Queen of the World as I will be one day, one of my first commands will be to do away with “fashionable” blanket food flavourings and give choice back to the eater. Freedom to consume foodstuffs without fear or repercussions – coming to a kitchen near me, and you, soon!
Or a few heads sans chef hats will roll.