Guide to Acquiring a Sophisticated Palate on the Road

Every individual experiences things differently, especially when it comes to food. Our basic anatomy is all the same. So why are there such drastic changes in the way we experience food? The main reason behind this has to do with if you have a sophisticated palate or not..

Travelers in particular have some of the most sophisticated palates in the world! Reason being they get to taste foods from around the globe. Wondering how to acquire a sophisticated palate while traveling? Here you can learn the tricks involved to get you there. 

What does it mean to have a sophisticated palate?

So what actually makes a palate sophisticated or unsophisticated? A sophisticated palate means that you can taste slight nuances in food and differentiate one flavor from another. The flavor profile of the meal is what it’s all about, but sophisticated palates can’t appreciate this.

How to acquire a sophisticated palate when traveling abroad

How to Acquire a Sophisticated Palate While Traveling

If you’re traveling and hoping to acquire a sophisticated palate, there are definitely some challenges involved. This is especially true if you’re travelling and not open to new things. That or can’t afford high-end meals on the road. Luckily for you there are tons of ways to acquire a sophisticated taste for food around the world.

Someone who has a sophisticated palate tends to like “fancy” food that is cooked to perfection…no Micky D’s or Taco Bell for them. Instead these people usually prefer to go to 4 and 5-star restaurants and order food that has been prepared by a professional chef.

You might think that a person is either born with more sophisticated taste buds or they aren’t. This isn’t the case; usually advanced taste buds are developed throughout the years. It takes practice to sophisticate the way you taste food; over time with certain habits you can actually acquire a more sophisticated palate. 

Don’t just eat the food, learn about the culture behind it

Travelling is the ultimate time to learn about a culture that’s completely different from your own. Not only are the people and places unique, but so is the cuisine. When you order food while travelling, try to learn about the story behind that meal and why it is a favorite among the locals. Not only will this make the food taste better, but you’ll learn something new with every bite.

This doesn’t just apply to the country you’re visiting; with each new town or city try something that is unique to that area. For example the typical meals in northern India are completely different to what you would find in the south. Ask a local what to order or take recommendations from the restaurant staff instead of sticking to the norm. 

Treat yourself to a quality meal when you can

Even if you’re on a budget travelling the world, everyone once in a while you should treat yourself. On every street corner you can find a food vendor or “street” food, but step into a nicer establishment every once in a while. Chances are the menu will be similar to what you’ve already seen, but the way the chef prepares it could give you a whole new outlook. 

Cut back on sugar and salt

It’s normal to consume absurd amounts of sugar and in a Western diet, but you probably didn’t realize that this affects your palate. When you eat sugary or salty foods that is what your body beings to crave on the reg, so other foods start to lack flavor no matter how amazing they are.

Depending on where you are travelling in the world cutting back on salt and sugar could be a huge challenge. In Asia everything is loaded up with soy sauce and sodium so it might be impossible to dial back on your salt intake. Just do your best and avoid adding more table salt to a meal that probably already has enough flavor as it is.

On the note of what to cut back on, always a good idea to take your vitamins while traveling. You want to stay healthy and probiotics for your gut don’t hurt either.

Get creative in each country you visit

Don’t be scared of those delicious dishes you see lining the streets of Bangkok. Give it a try, maybe you’ll hate it or maybe you’ll love it. The point is to broaden the horizons of your taste buds and start getting an idea of what appeals to you most.

Straying from the norm and getting creative is a key factor for acquiring a more developed palate. When you try more foods you’ll learn how to and spices from each other. You’ll be able to take one bite and figure out whether it is rosemary or thyme that you’re tasting.

Palate cleansing is actually a thing

Palate cleansing might seem like a sham to you, but trust us when we say that there is actually a science to it. The point of palate cleansing is to remove food residue from the mouth so that truly experience the flavor of the next food you try.

In Japan – and at just about any sushi restaurant around the world – you get a small portion of pickled ginger with your sushi roll. This is there for a specific reason… to cleanse your palate between different types of sushi. Japanese people understand that there is a huge diversity of flavors from roll to roll.

These tips and tricks are helpful for anyone wanting to enhance their palate, but especially for foodies travelling around the world. 

Author: iyashinoshigoto

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