Taste and Color

So, last night was another one of those tales of two meals.  I packed myself a rather pathetic dinner of hard boiled eggs, bread, pickles, and blackberry cake. 🙂 And took no pictures.

Theresa, on the other hand made herself a nice tofu curry with quinoa.  The interesting part about her curry was that she made it into a little experiment.  We all know that color affects how we perceive taste.  For instance, food without bright coloring often is perceived as bland, although it might be the same exact flavor as the neon orange ones.  Enter the excess of chaotically bright processed foods in the present food system.

Our mixed heirloom canned tomatoes.

Well, Theresa thought- why not use the mixed green canned tomatoes for the curry.  I’d be expecting a nice red tomato curry, will the green turn me off?  She made a nice tofu curry, that I am just now enjoying for lunch.

Vegetable Curry with Crumbled Tofu over Quinoa, with a dollop of Basil. I'm not sure if Theresa was planning to put basil on my leftovers... she could have mistaken the basil cubes for the cilantro cubes...... not too bad in flavor combo, actually.

She used some onion, eggplant, greens (looks like kohlrabi greens), pepper, the green tomatoes, tofu and spices.  The result was a tasty curry, that she said just didn’t look as appetizing.  It still tasted good, but somehow her mind couldn’t quite connect it with normal curry.  For me, as I eat this curry, it doesn’t bother me.  I think it looks like a yellow curry to me, and it fits that schema well enough for me. Ah perception.  This is just another bizarre part of life.  Fortunately, using green heirloom tomatoes will not make the food taste bad, it will simply change some of your perceptions of the food.

More veggie-tofu curry love.

Some people may not want to eat a particular dish without a particular color version of a vegetable.  This can sometimes be an issue for the CSA.  Red Fire Farm’s CSA often provides really neat colored produce varieties, like purple cauliflower.  Some people go for it.  They want the cool colored cauliflower, it adds to their food experience.  Whereas others ask “where are the normal white ones?”  In this scenario, their food schema is stilted by the novel color, and the new colored food probably won’t be ‘quite right’ to them unless they take a leap of faith, or get acclimated to it. Then there’s the whole sense of disgust, which is a whole other psychological can of worms that can effects different foods more than others.  For instance, you’d probably be more likely to eat a novel colored vegetable or fruit, versus meat, right?

Well, that’s pretty much it for Theresa’s meal and my pop-science food perception philosophizing.   As we near the weekend, I’d like to point out an interesting event that we are going to tomorrow: Sprout, a fundraiser part of Waltham Fields Community Farm.  There’s going to be a silent auction on some local niceties (things like CSA shares, or local products) local food to be served by Newbery College’s Ethics of Eating Class, and looks like fun.

Happy Friday to everyone!  I hope you have a great weekend.

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