How to get better at tasting


I think this question might be borderline off-topic. I am open to suggestions for making it fit the SA format better

Many drinks (coffee, whisk(e)y, wine) are more enjoyable once one can discern the different flavours in those drinks. I.e., once one moves beyond 'tastes like wine' to 'tastes like blueberries and honey'. The same is true for some foods (chocolate comes to mind, with descriptions similar to those used for wines. Also olive oil.). On top of that, it is a fun (and, for cooks, useful) skill to be able to taste a dish and mentally separate out the different ingredients that went into it.

Some people (so-called supertasters) are predisposed to have a sharp sense of taste. Assuming I am not a supertaster, how can I improve my tasting skills?

Best Answer

You get better through concentration and lack of distractions. Just as you shouldn't eat while watching TV. You'll miss all the flavors.

Sit back. Take small samples. Let it lay or slosh around in your mouth for a while--several seconds at least. Think about what you taste and feel.

Soon you will find those one-tone flavors have a background to them or a subtle second or third flavor coming out of nowhere.

After a while, you'll start noticing those underlying flavors every time you use that ingredient and notice it missing when you have a not-so-good variety.