When I check it out in my own life, I find that this palate fatigue is actually true. The first two or three bites of a sandwich are bursting with flavor. And then there's this foggy area where I've lost that intense interest and I am just eating. For me, however, the flavor awareness always returns with the last bite. Something deep in my brain wakes up and says 'Oh no! Almost gone. Taste!'
I figure I can work a little on that foggy area and try to taste my food more. Experts say when I do this, I will eat less and slower but that's secondary to me. I'm more interested in seeing if it's possible to keep some of that fresh, engaged interest in my meal all the way through.
So far, this has been tough going. My habit is to check out, get lost in my thoughts (or in the book spread out on the table in front of me). Not to mention carrying on a conversation with my dinner companion or, classically, eat the full bag of popcorn before the trailers are over and the film begins.
But when I do remember to keep at least some of my attention on what I am eating, a kind of a calm settles over me. I feel a balance and a satisfaction that escapes me when I'm just shoveling it in. It's a nice feeling and I don't have to spend hundreds of dollars at a fancy restaurant to have it.
(Image: Dana Velden)