Of all our senses, taste might be the most influential.
As toddlers, we use our mouths to get to know the world around us. Extensive research has proven the effects of different foods on the brain, including the release of dopamine, the chemical responsible for the sensation of pleasure, when eating our favourite dish. Isn’t it even more enjoyable to be sharing a good meal or culinary tips and experiences with other food lovers? In one way or another, this interest has always had the ability to bring us together, inspire us to explore our world through its diverse and opulent palate.
According to PwC, restaurants are becoming busier with each passing year, especially those accommodating the growing market for takeaways and the technological tools that can help provide them such as online ordering systems, review sites, apps and electronic devices.
The range of food preferences observed in customers is also opening more and more doors for chefs who enjoy experimenting. The popularity of certain ordered dishes across the globe, such as Singapore’s liking for Mexican burritos or the sudden rise to popularity of Philippine food in the United States, shows the appeal of exotic cuisine – tastes that transport the eater from the familiar to the exciting.
- Jerk chicken, a popular home recipe from sunny Carribean , is a takeaway staple in cold England
What about the arts? They too have found their muses in food. As a literary theme, it livens up any story, stimulating the senses further. There are books aplenty of various genres, like Eli Brown’s historical novel, Cinnamon and Gunpowder, or the romance Chocolat by Joanne Harris, better known from the 2000 film adaptation starring Juliette Binoche, Judy Dench and Johnny Depp. But individuals who have turned playing with food into an art form are also brought to light by sources like Widewalls, Anna Keville Joyce being one of a number of brilliant minds to follow.
After all is said and done, fictional and imported flavours are nothing compared to actually travelling and tasting local cuisines first hand. The African medinas’ accara and dibi are two of several dishes suggested in the National Geographic’s guide to best worldwide food locations, from the so-called Barbecue Street of Armenia to Chile’s fine dining restaurants. Judging by the figures on the Office of National Statistics regarding overseas travel and tourism, people’s eagerness to make such journeys has grown. By June 2017, UK citizens have made 72,020 visits abroad in the last 12 months, up 6% from last year, and that their expenditure reached £44,920 million, this marking a 10% increase. And who travels without spending most of their money on food?
This looks chaotic and amazing all at the same time! Source: Pxhere
The pleasures of eating have shaped not only the industries of tourism, art, and restaurants but also intensified people’s appetites for the new and wonderfully strange. Calories are a secondary concern when you are having fun and connecting with others in a way that is full of flavour, colour and delight. Even the occasional offence to your taste buds can be a cause for laughter and a learning curve. Culinary exploration makes you a happier, more interesting person. It inspires a joy for living. I know it has definitely inspired mine!
Here’s to more food adventures!