Sunday, 3 June 2007

Acquired Tastes

I have been challenged by the Owl of the Remove to answer the following question: Is an acquired taste worth acquiring?

I have absolutely no idea... I always assumed that the phrase was used as either a polite way of saying that you thought a friend's taste was execrable (No, it's not my sort of thing... I expect it's an acquired taste...) or excusing a particular foible of one's own: (I like it, but I'm aware that you will not... and so, to stop you thinking I'm an idiot, I'll pass it off as an acquired taste...)

I will apologise in advance for this very un-philosophical answer to what was obviously meant as a philosophical question, but I'm not really a philosophical sort... I guess it's an acquired taste...

4 comments:

Ma Beck said...

Well, if it's a taste for, say, classical music or Shakespeare, I would say that yes, it's worth looking into, but I don't think one can intentionally acquire a taste. You either like Shakespeare or you don't.
You shouldn't pretend to like him just because you think it's what you should do.
Just my two cents.

Histor the Wise said...

"I don't think one can intentionally acquire a taste."

Most culinary tastes are acquired, and intentionally. Take guacamole. It's a kelly-green substance the consistency of pudding; made from advocados, lime juice and tomatoes; and peculiar to areas affected by Mexican cusine. My whole family acquired a taste for it after moving to Texas in '96, despite it turning my mother's stomach the first time she saw it.

Alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea are well-known examples of acquired tastes, since most people who like them will tell you their first drink/puff/sip wasn't too good, "but after trying it a couple more times..."

I say an acquired taste is only worth acquiring if you actually enjoy whatever you 'acquire' a 'taste' for. I enjoy guacamole and coffee a lot, so I figure they're good acquired tastes.

Histor

PS. Don't you English eat kidneys? Or is that an urban legend?

Fr Justin said...

Red wine, marmite, curry, spinach, broccoli, beer, THE LATIN MASS…… I couldn't do without these now, but once I found them unpalatable.

Jeffrey Smith said...

I agree. Philosophy is the biggest, and most useless acquired taste.

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