Soroudi Taste Effect

Background

My mother didn’t have any formal culinary education, she just had a massive love of food. When she was little, she was ravenous and would inhale food with verve and pay attention to what it was and try to reverse-engineer the recipe in her mind. Once she had children, she had to cook, so she did. Boy did she ever. She constantly experimented in the kitchen and devoured all the cook-books and cooking-shows she could. She made dishes and baked-goods fit for a king, no, too good for a king.

Observation

After she was gone, I had to make my own food. I’ve cooked before, but I now had to make everything myself. This is when I discovered a phenomenon about food. Nothing I made was good, I just didn’t enjoy anything. Well, not zero, but very little. It didn’t matter how great the food look or how good it tasted, I just didn’t enjoy the foods I made.

Attempted explanations

It might have been anhedonia, the lack of enjoyment, especially since I haven’t enjoyed anything since I’ve been living alone, but I think it’s something more fundamental than that. The fact is that it’s difficult for me to enjoy anything that I make myself.

Everybody already knows that homemade food just doesn’t taste same as fast-food or even restaurant food, but that’s usually because fast-food or store food contain all kinds of artificial junk specifically formulated to make them addictive to the taste-buds. This isn’t that either.

Theory

When I cook for myself, I know what’s in it and how it’s made. I know the ingredients and the procedure to make it. This is why I can’t enjoy food the same as if someone else made it.

I’m confident that many of the foods I’ve made have been good, really good. I’ve made some foods that were gorgeous and likely tasted quite delicious, but because I made them, I didn’t enjoy them (it’s been rare that I actually enjoyed something I made).

I feel confident that if I presented many of the foods I’ve made to someone else, they’d love it, or if someone else had made the exact same food for me, I’d love it, but making it for myself, or someone else making it for themselves wouldn’t enjoy it as much.

Evidence and experiments

Another piece of evidence of this theory is that even though I’ve rarely cooked before my mother passed, the few times I did cook, she LOVED it. She was obsessed with eggs (when she was put on a low-sodium diet, she said she can live with that, but if she had a cholesterol problem and had to avoid eggs, she’d rather die). Despite this, and despite the fact that when I cook, I can never make anything simple or basic, I always go over the top, so my friend-eggs are “super fancy”, I think the reason she loved it was more becasue someone else had cooked it. If she had made the same food, she’d have liked it but not as much.

Implications

When I realized this a few years ago, I suddenly felt a massive pang of regret that I didn’t cook for her more often. I realized that she was cooking for my sister and I for our entire lives and giving us amazing foods and baked-goods, but she wasn’t enjoying them much herself, that’s probably why she seemed relatively apathetic to eating as compared to the actual cooking itself. I felt horrible for not noticing this sooner to cook and bake for her so she could enjoy eating as much as we did.

So, experiments can easily be done with people making the same dishes for each other and for themselves and seeing which they enjoy more. This can confirm what I’m naming after my mother as the

Soroudi Taste Effect: Foods that you make yourself aren’t as enjoyable as foods that someone else makes

Summary

Moral of the store: COOK FOR YOUR LOVED ONES WHILE YOU CAN!

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