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That tastes like WHAT ? ;-)

Posted By: Joe Ames
Date: Sunday, February 5, 2006 at 8:31 a.m.

FACTORS INFLUENCING LEVELS OF FLAVOR

Tastes change according to regions, locale, age and economic and educational levels.

NEW ENGLAND -
A preference for a gentler touch but receptive to seasoning variety, especially herbs, onions, spice seeds and sweet spices. Growing numbers of Italians and Portuguese have heavily influenced New Englanders to greater consumption of "Spicy" and hot foods.

NEW YORK CITY, EAST COAST TO FLORIDA -
Mixed in tastes, but a general tendency to like a slightly heavier touch with herbs and spices, including the more exotic and sophisticated. Wide ethnic influence in New Your City.

SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST CALIFORNIA -
Receptive to heavy spicing. Hot climates invariably increase desire for strongly seasoned foods. Black pepper in the south and chilies in the southwest are big sellers. Californians lean to Southwestern influence, plus an adventurous attitude toward the more sophisticated spices.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST -
Somewhat mixed in preference, with tendency to want somewhat more pungent seasoning than in New England.

MIDWEST CENTRAL PLAINS -
Similar to New England in taste preferences with the addition of Scandinavian and German favorites such as cardamom, dill, caraway, etc.

CHICAGO WISCONSIN MINNESOTA -
Mixed preferences with a leaning for slightly stronger seasoning. Strong Scandinavian and German influence with heavy ethnic overtones in Chicago.

LOCALE -
In or near large cities people tend to want more distinctive flavor in foods. Reason? More diversified backgrounds and availability of ethnic restaurants which open taste horizons.

AGE -
Adults generally crave more intensity of flavor. While it is a physiological fact that children's taste buds are more sensitive to "hot" flavors and crave sweets more than adults, it's the youth market that is credited with making pizza, hero's, tacos and other potently flavorsome foods national favorites.

NATIONALITY ETHNIC BACKGROUND -
Tradition not as dominant as it once was. Second and third generations have been exposed to such a diversity of taste, that it is impossible to generalize.

ECONOMIC BACKGROUND -
Money has a great deal to do with the palate. Higher income means exposure to varied cusines through travel and education. Sophistication in food tastes develops. The poor have little chance to explore the niceties of flavor. However, there is often a heavy use of strong and "hot" seasoning at lower economic levels.

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