Today’s Graph: Flavor Preference By Age Group

We love it when Nation’s Restaurant News sends us their “consumer scorecards,” especially when the data is superficially counterintuitive, like this one below:

So assuming that this is accurate, why are people under the age of 34 so disinterested in flavor? The 65+ data is pretty self-explanatory; older Americans grew up before flavor was invented, and reject it when it’s presented to them. Also/actually, their GI systems can’t really handle the allicin and capsaicin immanent to the specific flavors that the survey covered.

But it’s really shocking that even the reasonably experienced 25-34 year old group has less inclination toward garlic and spiciness than their elderly peers. Let’s think of why. It would help if we could see a graph of preference for sweet flavors by age. Could we imagine a possible world in which our sweet taste buds weaken and our savory taste buds strengthen as we reach middle age? Yes, a physiological explanation would be much less alarming than a social one. Because to us, not liking garlicky and spicy food basically means not liking food, period. If that were the case, we’d feel very lonely and discouraged about the future of this nation.

Our best bet is to decide that this poll was conducted in Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota, exclusively, because the eating we’ve done in those states has been pretty bland and would explain these distressing figures. Perhaps we’ll have some spicy ice cream to numb ourself into believing it.

[Photo: Desire for spice peaks at midlife {NRN}]

Today’s Graph: Flavor Preference By Age Group