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BBC随身英语:为什么我们喜欢不同的口味?

Why do we like different tastes?

为什么我们喜欢不同的口味?

What's your favourite flavour? Maybe you like your grub nice and spicy? Perhaps you have a sweet tooth? Or are you partial to a salty, savoury snack?

你最喜欢的口味是什么?美味辛辣的食物?偏好吃甜食?亦或是口味偏咸?

By now you're probably imagining something delicious, but take a moment to ponder this: why do some people adore certain flavours while others can't stand them? For example, oysters. They turn my stomach, but some spend lavishly on the slippery shellfish.

现在你可能正想象着好吃的东西,但花点时间想想这个问题:为什么某些人喜欢的某种口味,而另一些人却对此无法忍受呢?比如说牡蛎会让我反胃,但有些人却花大价钱去吃。

According to celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, our taste preferences are strongly linked to our memories. Certain flavours might bring back the sounds and smells of a seaside holiday, or an ice-cream might trigger memories of enjoying a childhood treat. This "positive nostalgia" has a powerful effect on how we experience food.

据名厨赫斯顿·布卢门撒尔所说,我们的口味偏好和我们的记忆有很大的关联。某些味道可能会让人想起在海边度假时的声音和气味。又或者一个冰激凌能勾起我们童年时期的甜美回忆。这种“积极的怀旧”对我们品尝食物有很大的影响。

Likewise, our surroundings have an impact on culinary pleasure. The same glass of wine can taste different depending on the background music. Blumenthal believes playing loud music makes people eat more quickly, while classical music makes them spend more money on wine.

同样的,用餐环境对我们的口味偏好也有影响。同一瓶酒在不同的背景音乐里能品出不同的味道。布卢门撒尔认为播放吵闹的音乐能让人吃饭更快,而经典音乐却能让人花更多时间细细品尝。

Alongside memory and ambience, our genetics also have a powerful impact on taste preferences. Neuroscientist Charles Zucker from Columbia University believes all animals are "pre-wired" to prefer sweet tastes over sour. "There are no lions out in the wild drinking tonic water," he says.

除了记忆和氛围,我们的基因对我们的口味也有重要影响。哥伦比亚大学神经系统学家查尔斯·朱克尔认为所有动物都天生更偏好甜味而不是酸味。“大自然里的狮子不会去引用奎宁水。”他表示。

On a more individual level, our personal genetic inherited preferences are significant. "And that is likely to greatly impact how much sugar I want to have in my coffee," says Dr Zucker. "It might be that I need six spoons of sugar to get the same level of satisfaction and reward that you get with only two."

从个人方面而言,我们遗传的基因也是很重要的。“这可能对我喝咖啡加多少糖有很大影响,”朱克博士表示,“可能我需要6勺糖才能调好口味,而你却只需2勺。”

Coffee is also an interesting example of how our tastes change over time. Most children don't like the maltiness of beer or the bitterness of strong coffee. But many adults enjoy the social reward - the relaxing effects of alcohol or the stimulation gained by coffee.

咖啡在我们口味的变化史中也是一个很有趣的例子。大部分孩子不喜欢喝麦芽啤或者浓咖啡的苦味,但很多成年人却喜欢这些——酒精带来的放松感或是咖啡带来的刺激感。

These are what we call acquired tastes - things we gradually learn to like - whether it's because our palates become more sophisticated, or because we crave the social effects of the foods.

这就是我们所说的后天培养的品味——我们逐步学着去喜欢的东西——不管是因为我们的口味变重了,亦或是因为我们渴求食物带来的社会效应。

For me though, I'm yet to see the allure in oysters, whether social or epicurean!

但是对我而言,牡蛎还是没有吸引力,不管是出于社会还是口味的原因。

 

词汇表

grub

(俚语)吃的,食物

(to have) a sweet tooth

吃甜食的嗜好

(to be) partial (to)

偏爱

savoury

咸的

to ponder

仔细思考,衡量

to turn someone's stomach

让人恶心

lavishly

极其大方地

slippery

滑溜溜的

to bring back

带回来

to trigger

触发

nostalgia

对往事的依恋

culinary

烹饪的

ambience

(地点、环境的)气氛

tonic water

汤利水

genetic

基因的

maltiness

有麦芽的感觉

bitterness

苦味

acquired taste

后天培养的品味

palate

口味,味觉

epicurean

美食的

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