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Cultivating Inexpensive Tastes

October 12th, 2012
preferences

If you take the time to become educated about steak you can learn the joys of dry aging, wondering how you ever managed to enjoy watery supermarket cuts. Delving into chocolate you may develop a taste for plain dark high cacao content single origin, to the point that Hershey's stops being worth eating. If you really get into Chinese food you might seek out restaurants run by and catering to recent immigrants, where the food is cheap, delicious, and not modified for the mainstream American palate. For the most part, the enjoyment you get out of developing a taste in something is dependent on what you put into it: finding the hidden ethnic grocery stores that sell the spices you want, learning to pull the perfect shot of espresso, discovering the production and history of wine you buy. The raw sensory pleasure of a food, what anyone would get out of it, diminishes over time as you get used to it, while the enjoyment you bring as a devotee increases as you explore its complexities and varieties. All these passions hold promise of gastronomic pleasure to those who would apply the effort to get into them, and how much you would enjoy them if you were to chose to become an aficionado depends little on cost. By cultivating inexpensive tastes I am left free to pursue interests without being limited by the money I can spare for my current fascination.

(Food here is an example; the principle is broad.)

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