Cultivating Your Own Taste Palate

Olive oil, cheese and wine are three of the most important pillars of the Italian palate; and some of the most discussed foods on the planet. From the variously fruity, chocolatey and oakey notes found in a good glass of red wine, to the pungent and buttery flavours that can be identified in a nicely aired cheese – you might think that those who discuss food in such terms are making it all up!

However, if there’s anything our family business has taught us, it’s that taste and smell are powerful senses which can be honed and cultivated to amplify our experience of food and drink.

It might seem as though some people are born with an innate ability to distinguish the different ingredients in meals and beverages. However, whether you’re a natural ‘super taster’ or not; you can train your palate to recognise and even appreciate a wider range of flavours and sensations.

Engage your Sense of Smell

You may have seen people at wine tasting sessions shoving their noses into the bowl of a wine glass and inhaling deep enough that you think they might get a nostril full. Well, incorporating your sense of smell into the way you experience food and drink is an incredibly effective way of growing your appreciation.

The tongue can distinguish five different kinds of taste: Sweet, Salty, Umami, Sour and Bitter. But the nose has between 5000 and 10,000 unique smell receptors. So tasting without smelling is like trying to collect rainwater with a thimble, when you’ve got a bucket in your hand.

Take a sniff before you swallow your next cabernet sauvignon, Nero d’Avola – you’ll find yourself picking out notes of blackcurrant in no time.

Mindful Eating

Last week we discussed how Antipasto was a throwback to a bygone time, when time was taken for meals and a party could last for over seven courses. Well, you don’t have to commit to a multi-dish feast in order to take more time over food. In fact, just taking the time to savour mouthfuls can have a noticeable impact on your body’s ability to distinguish taste.

For many this is known as ‘mindful eating’. The basic principle is to focus your attention on the food that you’re consuming – eating slowly and concentrating on the flavours, rather than what’s going on around you.

Not only do we think you’re likely to begin recognising different flavours better – several studies have indicated that this kind of eating can help you lose weight!

Planning your Platter

There’s an old saying, ‘If it grows together, it goes together’ and while following the principle might not land you with the world’s most exciting spread – it does hold true. All of the antipasto, wines, cheese and olive oils that we sell work deliciously on their own, or paired. It’s simply a matter of taste.

And remember, if you’re planning a party or meal and don’t want to have to think too much about finding the right balance of antipasto – we’ll do it for you. Our antipasto boxes are perfectly balanced, full of authentic flavours and are sure to delight any mix of guests. So if you’re keen to broaden your palate, try one of our carefully cultivated boxes –they’re ideal for training your tongue (and your guests’!) to rejoice in a whole new world of flavour.


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