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How to develop your gastronomic taste?

Restaurant professionals often complain that the recent past of our country adversely affected the taste preferences of Russians. Soviet cuisine can be safely called a black gastronomic stain, even despite the fact that it brought to everyday life recipes for now such popular dishes as a Kiev patty, beef stroganoff, Leningrad pickle and many others. The creation of such a cuisine was triggered by the policy of slogans from the series “Public catering to the masses”, the post-war economic crisis and for a number of other reasons. But it was not always like that. Russia, at the crossroads of the continents, for centuries absorbed the food culture of its neighbors and enemies: the French, Nords, Asians. But because of the Soviet sausage and canning tinsel, it is sometimes very difficult for restaurant guests to switch to something “less understandable”, because the canceled “taste of childhood” has not been canceled.

The same French have their own gastronomic features. Firstly, the lexical vocabulary of gastronomy in their language tends to infinity, trying to convey all the shades of taste as accurately as possible with words. Secondly, food is not just eating, it is a whole philosophy called savoirvivre (translated from French, “know how to live”), which regularly appears on the pages of the media in a rather voluminous column of the same name. And, apparently, the French begin to learn aspects of this cultural trend from childhood. For example, the Institute of Taste (Institut de goût) operates in Paris, which educates children and adults. The goal of this institute is to help discover the world of taste, various flavors and the variety of texture of products, for which various tastings and seminars are organized. If you are not ready to plunge into your studies, but would like to slightly change your gastronomic preferences and develop a taste, we have gathered some tips for you from chefs and restaurant business specialists.

Sergey Mironov,
restaurateur, owner of the restaurant chain “Meat & Fish”
First of all, our taste depends on what preferences and preferences developed in your childhood. They are laid in a person in childhood and then rarely seriously change. Even we, restaurateurs, when we get home, to the question “What do you cook?” We answer: “Dumplings.” But why? We are cool restaurateurs, we eat and develop cool delicious dishes! But at home, we really prefer dumplings, because it tastes better for us. Everyone eats dumplings: from Rappoport to Novikov.

I am still looking for an answer to this question. I believe that preferences, as well as food prejudices, are born from childhood. Thanks to my work, I know for sure which products are least liked in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Everything is commonplace: pumpkin, liver, white fish, duck fillet on the skin, barley. Everything that has a specific smell or recalls the worst dinners in kindergarten.

But how is love for specific products born? At home, in childhood, the liver was very poorly prepared. She was like rubber. But I still loved her. But the pumpkin did not grow together. I can’t stand the spirit. And I don’t know how to explain it yet.

How the food is made, how it is served, how the table is laid, who is sitting with you at it – all this affects. But the dominant role is played by how much we understand these dishes and how comfortable we are in a particular institution. Everything comes from childhood. After all, we eat most of the time at home and the closer what we eat in restaurants and what the atmosphere is, how close it is to what surrounds us at home, the more comfortable and tasty it is for us. We will go to a restaurant where we are really well.

Of course, the mood, atmosphere, and how hungry we are, affect our food experiences. And there is nothing wrong with that, the main thing at the table is to have fun. If you want to appreciate the taste of dishes, focus on food. Eat slowly. Assessing the balance of the five tastes in each dish and the quality of the preparation. It’s better to record your impressions right away. Ask yourself a question. Would I like to eat this dish again? What is missing in it? What would I change or improve? Also rate the feed. Not only from the point of view of effectiveness, but also whether it is convenient for the guest, whether it emphasizes the look and taste of the products. In restaurants, at one time it was fashionable to serve dishes on craft paper. But, for example, having ordered a juicy lamb shoulder with confit tomatoes with garlic, it was impossible to separate the meat from the paper, since it was soaked from fat.

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