Recently I have started thinking about the brain as it relates to taste. Charlie Rose has had an interesting ongoing series of panel discussions on The Brain, and through those, I have learned a lot about cutting edge research that physically connects different locations in the brain with various functions. This got me to thinking, "Is there a part of the brain that responds to taste, and are there certain tastes that make the most favorable impact?" And this led me to think about Tomatoes and Soy Sauce. huh?
Here's my beginning question:
If you were to poll the adult American populace and ask them which 2 cuisines they would pick to eat for the rest of their days(if they could only choose 2) what do you think would be the front runners? Without having done any research about this, my own gut reaction would be: Italian and Chinese, or, in VERY reduced terms, Tomatoes and Soy Sauce.
(I have found out that the USA has about 61,000 pizza places and 41,000 chinese restnts.)
Because this is just a nascent idea, I understand perfectly that this does not take into consideration the effect of a person's own ethnic culinary tradition or dna ? in affecting the results. What I mean is> maybe the majority of people would choose the cuisine they grew up with as one of the two(if, indeed, it was a single cuisine.) But, in my head, I am thinking that many people may have favorite dishes from their ethnicity but would not choose the whole cuisine if it meant leaving out Italian and Chinese.
Also, my guess of Italian and Chinese, if accurate, could have nothing to do w/taste preferences/proclivities. It COULD simply reflect economic factors(more people would choose these 2 because they are what they most know because of what they could afford.)
And where I'm ultimately going with this- is>> has anyone done brain research on taste , and what have they found, vis a vis the love for italian and chinese food/tomatoes and soy sauce? ( And btw, what about the ubiquitous love for 'sweet,cold,and creamy'- i.e. Ice Cream!?...)
I look forward to your thoughts on this!