For tastes, colours

PONENTE had behind him a huge screen where you could see the image of a white sand beach dotted with silhouettes of palm trees; on the horizon, a crystalline sea colored in turquoise. The professor asked us to look at that landscape. "Does any of the attendees dislike this image?" "It's impossible for this vision to make anyone uncomfortable!" I said. Several people raised their hands and declared fear solitude, fear of the sea, dread of open spaces, sharks... All kinds of phobias crossed my condition and circumstances of the moment, reminding me that I had forgotten the other realities that live around. I obscene that the experiences and beliefs that shape our identity determine how we feel the world and label what we dislike and what delights us.

In taste preferences there is a part sculpted by evolution and biology. Humans tend to look for salt innately because it is necessary to maintain osmolites that facilitate the hydromineral regulation of the body. Similarly, we have receptors capable of detecting the sweet and mechanisms of accumulation and regulation of fats, essential for life and in another time a scarce good. Accumulating energy has been crucial to surviving in environments of food uncertainty, so perceiving foods with caloric might became a great strategy. So much so that, to reinforce the appetite for them, the brain secretes a chemical cocktail of neurotransmitters that produce desire and pleasure


But food satisfaction also has a psychological and environmental component. Our preferences are conditioned by the environment, culture, the allocation of hedonic value granted to a bite and treasured memories. After all, the interpretation of the stimuli that capture the senses is subjective. When we taste a food, the brain areas related to memory, emotions and expectations are activated. The brain takes the information, processes it, compares and interprets it by linking it to the context, and finally gives an answer. Paradoxically, overflowing the predictions in an environment of guarantees, in addition to activating curiosity, produces great satisfaction, as the director of the Institute of Neuroscience of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Ignacio Morgado, has explained to me so often. From a pragmatic point of view, the appearance of something acidic or bitter has been a warning sign of potential harmful substances. The whole thing is the opposite, for example, to many treats that, together with the sweetness, are covered by a disproportionate acidity, which also emulate inexpensive objects and show squeaky colors that in another situation would be quite disturbing. However, all this comes with a favorable affective tag, based on the habit of an adult audience who have already eaten suckers as a child


Sumy, we classify as delicious what triggers an intense pleasure in us because it motivates and pleases us. But the opinion we set out on the degree of satisfaction or displeasure is unique and proper. Only in this way is it empathized with the fact that the chef Juan Mari Arzak does not like the octopus, Ferran Adria the red peppers and Martín Berasategui the chickpeas. Only in this way is it understood that the three delights of the popular rice of Chinese descent are prawns, egg and cooked ham, while in the West it is called delight to a collection of desserts, cakes and treats, and a steak of fish clean of skin and thorns. It's as simple as that. And so tangled. 

"summary-title">Ternera with fermented shallots
Oscar Oliva

Ingredients (for four people)

500 grams of shallots, 15 grams of salt, 200 grams of butts. For sirloin: 900 grams of beef tenderloin, 50 grams of cream,

The shallots: for this production it is necessary to take extreme hygienic precautions. Sterilize a glass can in a pot with boiling water. Dry and book. Clean the shallots and cut the half into julienne. Mix the shallots next to the salt until perfectly integrated. Get in the boat and press so there's no room just between the shallots. Close the jar with clear film and let stand for three days at room temperature in a cool, dry place. If we see the film swell, it's part of the fermentation process. After that time, store in a fridge and set aside,

The colmenillas: Wipe the fillings with a damp cloth and scald for two minutes

Sirloin: remove all leftover fabrics and fat from the piece of meat. Cut the sirloin into four parts of about 200 grams,

Finishing and presentation

Drain the shallots and set aside 50 grams of the fermentation liquid. Salt the sirloin. Mark in a frying pan for two minutes on each side or until at the desired point. Remove from pan and deglaze with cream and juice from the shallots. When you have halved, add the burons and shallots and let them boil for two minutes,

Serve next to sirloin,