21 Comments

Such a fascinating topic, Mark!

I recently learned that anosmia is apparently common with all sorts of conditions from the common cold to cancer. And I saw via New Scientist that there's a new cookbook (free download) designed for anyone with their sense of smell & taste temporarily messed up, which is a really nice thing to see: https://lifekitchen.co.uk/product/free-taste-flavour-book/

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Mark, this raises a good point about resiliency: your tastes need to evolve as more information comes in. This shouldn't be anathema to anyone: I was a punk rocker who now enjoys yacht rock, among other genres! I also still enjoy punk.

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Apparently, we lose our sense of taste as we age, too. I believe everything just gets blander -- it's not just one type of taste like what you describe here.

Another reason to stay young forever!

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Lemonade is really delightful at all times. Taste is such a delicate sense, even though we don’t think so. My mom changed medications briefly a couple years ago, and suddenly hated a lot of things she always loved, like coffee. It was a very jarring side effect and ultimately part of why she wanted to get off this new one.

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That sounds pretty awful. As for stuffing your face withe ice cream, it would definitely be comforting, but presumably eating good food that tastes like cardboard (how do you know, incidentally? 😂) would still do you some good

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A fascinating topic! I really like this concept of reversion to the familiar. As it was for many, 2020 was a tough year for me what with the pandemic, lock downs, work from home, etc. In addition to having Covid I also had a major health scare and was diagnosed with moderate depression late in the year. Something very interesting emerged out of that year, and it was a change in my musical tastes.

I’m a huge music fan and I generally listen to 250-300 new albums and compile a top 50 list every year. In compiling my top 50 for 2020 I found that my listening (of new albums) had been dominated by music that was reminiscent of what I listened to growing up in the 80s. It was as if I surrounded myself with “comfort music” as a coping mechanism to navigate through those stressful and uncertain times.

When I read “reversion to the familiar” I thought, “yeah that’s exactly what happened with me and music in 2020”. Over the last few years my listening taste seems to have reverted back to the new and eclectic. But 2020 was certainly all about the familiar.

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Such a fascinating read - but gosh, commiserations. 😕 Jim’s lost his sense of smell, and that’s made my cooking even more outlandish (in the flavour sense, I mean). There are all sorts of things he misses - ‘nuance’ is a word he often uses.

I’m so pleased you wrote about this, Mark - and I hope you’re continuing to recover. 😊

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Sep 6, 2023Liked by Mark Dykeman

Been sick since Sunday with some kind of flu from Nora’s day care. I think today I’ll make a corn, bacon and potato chowder.

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Regarding non-food tastes: one thing it took me ages to learn was that our relationships with our favourite stories can change, sometimes dramatically - so many books I lived as a teenager where now I can see things that put me right off them (eg. Wilbur Smith's adventure novels, which awakened my curiosity about travel, but are...there's no other way to say this...super-yikes racist in many places). So it becomes a challenge: like learning that a fave storyteller is a deeply problematic person, so how does that affect your enduring love of their stories? (Person case in point: Joss Whedon.)

Taste is never a fixed thing, and shouldn't be, I guess? Which is dizzyingly hard to negotiate at times - but it's also why I love omelets, love them so much, even though I hated them SO MUCH as a kid. Same for fried egg sandwiches, which I would have formerly thrown myself out of a moving vehicle to avoid...

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Very interesting to hear people’s different sensory changes post-Covid. My wife lost all appreciation for Sauvignon blanc - went from her favourite to a revulsion. I used to really like the smell of petrol- now it smells rotten.

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My only brother lost his sense of taste after 7 days of early Covid. Glad ur recovering!

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