taste testing
Cooking School,  Diary,  Food Reads

Discovering my Taste for Life

As a woman in my thirties I’ve been developing healthy boundaries and some grit.

Last night, we had the most amazing workshop on TASTE presented by author, Barb Stuckey.  As she guided us through our five tastes and five senses, which influence our experience with food and flavors, I realized how mirroring this process is to that of my developing persona.

One of the most thrilling discoveries was to learn how some foods have no taste (salty, bitter, sweet, sour or umami), but our sense of smell masks this fact and presents these foods as “flavorful.”  With this test, using a jelly bean, we blocked our sense of smell and placed the bean in our mouth then released our pinched noses to marry our sense of smell with our sense of taste.  Initially, with a plugged nose, all we could taste was sweet, and then, POW,  immediately we smelled the flavor of watermelon giving us the perception that this jelly bean actually tasted like that fake candy watermelon flavor.  AMAZING!

Our emotions kind of behave the same way.  I think some emotions disguise others as our sense of smell gives us the illusion of false taste,  like when anger hides a person’s fears, pain or frustrations.  Similar to when we block our sense of smell, we block the full flavor of what we are feeling/tasting.  When we learn to taste the flavors of our emotions, we gain so much insight about ourselves.  Going back to my personal development, I used to never experience anger or very rarely and if I did I could never act out on it.  So I would just cry to release that energy, not really understanding what was going on with me (not knowing what I was tasting).  But now, I find myself feeling more intensely… I told my husband the other day, “I just don’t know what to do with this anger… I feel angry and I never feel angry.”  He said something that just clicked, “Maybe its a part of the new you, since you have changed.”

Wow!  I paused and sorted through my thoughts.  Am I offended?  No.  This is good.  I want to be this revitalized me that can now feel on a deeper level that allows me to experience all of my emotions as these are my “tastes” on life.  And I want to live a spicy life filled with flavors that come from just the right taste, smell, and visual combinations to achieve lingering satisfaction, as is with umami.

My name is Emely Hernandez, I am following my dream to cook and mission to help others. As a home visiting nurse, I saw many first time moms who did not know how to cook and this worried me because if they could not feed themselves nutritious meals, what were they going to feed their baby? I am striving to make an impact in my community, whether by cooking a nourishing meal for the homeless or teaching a new mother how to cook and feed her family. This has led me to finally attend cooking school at the San Francisco Cooking School.

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