While sitting with friends at a local bar, I saw someone put a raw egg in their beer and drink it. Fortunately the person was not one of my friends, because putting a raw egg in a beer and drinking it is pretty disgusting. "It's an acquired taste," one of my friends remarked.
All my life I've been hearing people say "It's an acquired taste," and it got me to thinking. Basically what it means is that if you don't like something when you first taste it, you keep on putting it in your mouth until you either start liking it (acquired taste) or you get sick. Take coffee for example. Millions of people drink coffee, yet I've never met a single coffee drinker who liked it the first time they drank it. Why did they keep on trying?
When I put something in my mouth and it tastes bad, I don't put anymore of it in my mouth. Why so many people keep putting bad tasting things in their mouths is beyond my comprehension. They must say, "Yuck, that was terrible. I think I'll try another one." This behavior is especially baffling in the case of cigarettes, which not only taste bad, but make you dizzy and are bad for you.
There is a long list of things that I've never tasted simply because I'm told you must acquire a taste for them. Coffee is just one example. The list also includes such things as Limburger cheese, pickled pig's feet, blood pudding, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, kem chee, caviar and raw eggs.
Smell is a big factor in not wanting to taste things like Limburger cheese and dog poop, while appearance prevents me from eating raw eggs and road kill. I have often wondered who the first person was to eat some of these things. Consider eggs. "Hey Joe, look what just came out of that chicken's butt. I think I'll eat it."
Calvin Trillin once wrote about exotic foods of the world, and described eating double boiled deer penis. Just how many double boiled deer penises does one have to eat before acquiring a taste for them?
Breast milk was undoubtedly the first thing that I ever put in my mouth, and I probably drank quite a bit of it my first six months. I don't remember what it tasted like, but I have no desire to try it again. As much as I like breasts, I have lost my desire to drink their milk. I guess that's an un-acquired taste. Perhaps I could acquire the taste again. Hmmm...