Does Your Taste In Food Expand As You Age?

When I was a wee little shaver my mother would always eat, what I thought was dumb stuff, like veggies and fruit and liver. Yech.


Now that I’m into my 40s I found I do also like those things. I like cabbage, and broccoli and tomatoes. I now prefer my cake WITHOUT frosting. I’d rather have a juicy peach (it’s gotta be fuzzy though) instead of a chocolate bar.

About the only thing that didn’t change was my dislike for fish. I hated it as a kid and outside of fishsticks and tuna, I can’t stand any fish or seafood.

So my question to you all is, has your taste in food expanded to items you thought, when you were a kid, you’d never eat, much less actually like?

Yes. These days I’ll eat just about anything that isn’t a brussel sprout. Formerly disgusting things that I now eat readily include broccoli, spinach, lentils, cottage cheese, all kinds of beans, squash, high-density breads, and most kinds of nuts.


Lost much of my sweet tooth - I no longer even like milk chocolate much except in tiny quantities, it must be dark and I’ve grown to dislike overly sugary substances such as buttercream frosting. I still like sweet things and occasionally crave them. But I more often crave the creamy and the savory now, relative to my childhood.

Now like spicy foods - As a child I loathed hot peppers. As my taste buds have atrophied ;), I’ve learned to enjoy mild burns. I still think insanity-style hot sauces are for lunatics, but I can tolerate hotter foods than my parents, very much the reverse of my childhood.

Certain vegetables - Developed a taste for ( cooked ) spinach ~20 years ago ( I’m 41 in a week ). Cabbage, ~15 years ago. Eggplant ~7-8 years ago. Brussel sprouts maybe 2-3 years ago.

Things from my childhood I still sorta dislike - Rhubarb, sweet relish, banannas ( raw, texture-based only, flavour is fine ) and sauerkraut come to mind immediately. I’m sure there are others as well.

But my palate has expanded enormously, especially after about 20 or so. I think this is pretty typical, actually - more the rule than the exception

Mine has. I only liked a small handful of vegetables when I was a child, but now I will eat most of them happily, radishes being the only one that springs immediately to mind that I still hate and avoid. I also hated any sort of food that came out of the water, but now I quite like a fair bit of seafood. Mostly shellfish, though . . . I’m still not terribly fond of fish.

One thing I’ve not been able to develop a taste for, though I enjoy its effects, is alcohol. It’s the rare beer or cocktail I actually enjoy the taste of

Same for me. I’m willing to try just about anything. As a kid, I would never have gone near sushi or calimari, for instance (they were bait, not food!). Just today, I was enjoying some home-made split pea soup – something I never would have gone near years ago.

I still can’t stand coffee or beer, however.

I’ve read that children tend to have very picky and homogenous tastes because it’s dangerous for little cave babies to go out and put stuff in their mouths. It does seem to be very true that most people’s tastes expand as they get older, and those who don’t seem childish.

I mean, when’s the last time you asked for the corner piece with the big frosting rose of a birthday cake? Ewwww.

In August at a birthday party.

Corner pieces are the best part of any baked good.

My tastes haven’t expanded, but have shifted. I dislike sweets, candy, cake, and such, and much prefer savory and spicy flavors now. I used to crave bread, potatoes, pasta, and now I’ve lost my taste for those. I’ve always loved vegetables, though, and still do. I can finally eat and enjoy steak, but I’ve always loved fish and seafood and chicken.

The sudden dislike for sweet hit when I was about 30, and I still don’t even like the smell of sweet foods. Sugar makes me cranky, and it gives me a headache.

That’s an interesting theory. It would make sense too. I wonder if that theory has been tested hmmmm??

I find I now enjoy a lot of bitter/sharp flavours that I disliked as a youngster… stuff like blue cheese, dark beer, sharp aged cheddar, black coffee, really dark chocolate, fresh radishes, etc.

Then again, I also tend to avoid the cloying sweet stuff - I ordered an Amaretto Sour a few weeks ago just for nostalgia’s sake since I used to drink those almost every weekend when I was in my early 20s, and I just about choked on the first sip.

Maybe it’s that my tastes have gotten a bit more grown up now that I’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood, or maybe it’s just that handful of years as a smoker that dulled my palate… either way, I can’t complain about anything that opens up a whole new world of tastes for me. :slight_smile:

Yes, I have made a point of trying different styles and types of food as I get older. I want to see what’s out there. But some things I still don’t like. I can’t stand any type of seafood, never could. In some cases, I’ve recognized that I like certain flavors or whatever, and have tried to explore things along those lines.

I think in general, most of my tastes have gotten broader and more complex. I listen to music now that I wouldn’t have listened to when I was a teen, and like a wider variety of movies, books, etc. There’s so much cool stuff out there, and when I was younger I didn’t have the knowledge, ability, or the mindset to experience as much of it.

Even as a child, I always enjoyed all foods, even things that most kids hate. As an adult, I’ve been exposed to a small number of foods I dislike (e.g. haggis, Limburger cheese), but still like everything else. But lately I’ve been noticing a lower tolerance for foods with extreme taste; foods that I used to enjoy, I now find too sweet or too salty or too spicy. It’s like my taste buds have become more sensitive.

In answer to the OP: yes, absolutely.

Have you tried them roasted? Oh, so good. When I was a kid, brussel sprouts were the only food I didn’t particularly like. I won’t say I hated them, I just didn’t like them much (as I had only been served them boiled.) When I first tasted one roasted, man, awesome. I could eat about two or three dozen of those suckers if I don’t watch myself. So, I’ve pretty much always eaten anything and everything, and I still do eat anything and everything.

Tremendously. I’ll eat just about anything these days. I even appreciate the bitter edge in some foods which I could not abide when I was a kid. Not to mention eating raw meat such as sashimi or carpaccio. Thin slices of raw buffalo? Yum. I like spicy too but still can’t handle the real fiery stuff. The only flavors I still can not stand are licorice and anise. Every few years I try again but nope, still yuck.