There is little, Iâ€™ve decided, more cruel than losing oneâ€™s ability to enjoy the flavors of food.
This past week, I had a more intimate look into the phenomenon of "taste-impairment" than I think Iâ€™ve ever experienced before, thanks to an epic five-day bout with the respiratory flu, which left my body tired, my sinuses plugged, and my mouth disturbingly devoid of its ability to parse the food I ate.
While I was sick, I blamed my lack of gustatory enjoyment on the fact that I simply wasnâ€™t feeling well. But, as my recovery continued, I realized there was more going on.
My morning smoothie â€“ made with plain kefir, frozen blueberries, ripe banana and greens -- tasted only vaguely sweet. There was no hint of the cinnamon or vanilla I added, despite the fact that I feel as if I added more than usual.Â But, I could feel the tiny pearl-shaped blueberry seeds on my tongue and in between my teeth. And I noticed that the powdered greens mix â€“ while not objectionable in its flavor â€“ felt more powdery and gritty than usual.
My second awakening came as I stood in front of the coffee maker at work, waiting for the nutty roasted aroma of the brewing coffee to greet my nose and give me that "aaaah, Iâ€™m ready to face the day feeling." But, it never came. Â
If I poked my nose directly into the coffee cup, I could conjure a vague whiff of coffee; but, I fear it was more wishful than it was real.
Nonetheless, I sipped the brown liquid in my cup relishing its slight bitterness and the feel of the warm liquid as it made its way down my throat.
And, while I normally look forward to leftover Chinese takeout when I bring it for lunch, the egg foo young I reheated was as bland as bland could be. Although there was something to be said for the experience of finding crunchy bits of fresh bean sprouts to grind between my teeth, there wasnâ€™t a modicum of joy in the flavor of the dish itself.
"Isnâ€™t the gravy for egg foo young supposed to be salty?" I asked my husband …Read more...