The word “taste” has several meanings. One of them is a physical sense of perception, as, for example, in “It tastes so sweet, try it!”
Taste may also be defined as aesthetic feeling towards something or understanding, for example “she developed a taste for music” – which means that she became fond of music.
Another one is a personal attitude towards something, as taste for choosing things, such as clothes, jewelry, or even wall-paper, furniture or paintings for one’s house. In this sense we may say that it’s a synonym for “style”.
We often hear people say “this thing is tasteful or tasteless” or “this person has good taste” or “his taste is bad”. This means that all of us have some kind of a taste, which is determined by the way we were brought up, by the time when we were growing. It also depends on the culture we are living in, on our age and on the people we are surrounded by. Moreover, it depends on the social class we belong to and even on our profession.
People are so different and what we suppose is good for us, what seems beautiful and tasteful to us, may be just the contrary for other people. Therefore it is said “Tastes differ”.
When we travel to different countries we notice a great variety of styles, of the ways people dress, decorate their house, behave themselves, treat their friends and relatives. Cuisine is also very diverse from country to country. And of course it is all very fascinating and different from what we have back home.
For example, here in Russia we have many dishes which contain potatoes, and in Mexico the main components of most dishes are rice and beans. Foreigners are surprised that we always eat soups in Russia. In the US, for instance, soup is served only on big holidays such as Labor day or Thanksgiving. Americans also don’t understand how we can eat meat-jelly (or kholodets) or okroshka (chopped greens, cucumbers, meat, eggs with mayonnaise and kvass).
Tastes differ even within one country. Each of us perhaps remembers quarreling with one of our friends over what tastes better: fried potatoes or macaroni with meat, chocolate or ice-cream, porridge or omelet.
Tastes differ even among people belonging to different sex. Recently American medical journal Psychology and Behaviour published the results of a very interesting research. They used the Web to survey 277 male and female participants in order to find out what kind of food they prefer. They found that women are more prone to eat comfort foods high in fat and sugar, such as cakes and ice-cream. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to turn to soups, pasta and steaks.