We were talking the other night about the idea that if you eat a food that you don’t like ten times, you’ll start to like it. Was thinking about that again just now, and thought I would look it up for more info.
There are apparently studies that suggest that that can be true for at least some kids, at least if they're under a certain age; see, for example, What kind of exposure reduces children's food neophobia?: Looking vs. tasting. But for adults, TSOR isn’t bringing up solid information; I vaguely think that that try-it-ten-times idea is something that some particular writer stated as fact and it’s become a widespread belief.
And I hear that it works for many people and many foods, so I can’t say it’s not true. I’ve even had a little bit of that experience myself; for example, I now actively like cranberries in one particular context (cranberry/walnut bread), and don’t mind them in a bunch of other contexts. Though it took many more than ten tries for that to happen for me.
But off the top of my head, here’s a partial list of foodstuffs that I’ve tried lots more than ten times but still don’t like. All of these are things that many many people love; I intend no aspersions about them, they’re just not to my taste.
- Goat cheese
- Raw radicchio
My tastes do sometimes change a bit over time, which I still find mysterious. The most mysterious example is that on my first experience with Thai food, in high school, I hated it; but when I went back to that same restaurant a few years later, post-college, I loved it, and have loved it ever since. And there’ve been other times that my tastes have changed in various ways.
But for me, it doesn’t happen reliably, even on repeated exposure.
What about y’all? Do you find that about ten tries is enough to get you to start liking something? Do you actively try to change your tastes?