When I sat down to write this piece, I struggled with what to call it. I started with “mouth appeal” but when I googled that, I got lots of images of dental work that turned me off. After a few other tries, I landed on the title above. Let’s see what you think when you get to the end.
Like many people, I enjoy eating. And while I could write a whole month of blogs based on food, I’m specifically focusing this piece on the perfect first bite.
First thing that came to mind is pizza. You sit down for your first piping hot slice, you fold it in half (because that’s what we do in New York) and you bite the pointy end. If you don’t scald the roof of your mouth on hot sauce and cheese, very often that first bite is perfection.
In that same category, I would put a first bite of a juicy rare steak, first bite of a hot and tangy buffalo wing, a first mouthful of a well-constructed burger, and even the first spoonful of a chunky soup on a cold day.
To me, the first bite is not just about flavor. Into the mix I would throw in texture – is the bite interesting to my mouth? (Last thing you want is a bored mouth.) Is there complexity of textures? A mix of hot and cold? Is that first bite big enough that you can sink your teeth into something substantive? Unless I’m sick, I have not use for bland food. It is totally boring and not worth my time. I like foods that are more complex and interesting.
While thinking about this piece, I guess the reason I zeroed in on the first bite is because I believe we all experience “taste fatigue”. Rarely is our last bite of something as rewarding and enjoyable as the first bite and that’s because it’s no longer new to our taste buds. We still like it – just not as much.
So what is your favorite first bite? A handful of popcorn? Bite into a juicy apple? We’re “hungry” to hear.