Friday, March 22, 2013

There's actually something to that "girly beer" phenomenon...

Popular Science and Inc Magazine, recently pointed out that over time, beer lovers get used to drinking more bitter beers because they are seeking out the hops flavor. So if you are like me and get pitying glances from "true beer snobs" for not appreciating the hoppy taste of a double IPA, do not despair, just realize that you haven't had enough to drink yet.

Unlike many of the "give-me-more-of-that" additives, humulones, the compound in hops that gives beer its bitterness, don’t affect the brain the same way as recognized, addictive compounds like caffeine or tobacco so it is not an addiction to hoppy beer but a sensory adaptation, when your perception of taste or smell dissipates over the course of exposure to the sensation.

This happens with all types of food and drink, and in part accounts for young finicky eaters who just haven't eaten enough bitter veggies to stomach them yet. Therefore if you are starting down the road of any new taste specialization (read spice, coffee, wine) know that it's going to take awhile for you to get used to a specific additive or ingredient . And once you do your interest and desire for it may increase and therefore you may seek out spicier curries, blacker, stronger coffees or bolder wines over time.

But also know that anyone who is a particular expert in a cuisine may be more used to their palate's level and based on the laws of habituation is actually tasting things differently than you are. So it's okay to start tamer - embrace your "girly" starter choices. You can explain you are working your way up to a deeper love of something.

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