In the early 18th century, in his Conversations with Eckermann, Goethe is known to have said: «One cannot develop taste from what is of average quality but only from the very best.»
Taste is of course the thrills experienced by the buds on your tongue, but it is also an individual’s personal and cultural patterns of choice and preference
Habitus is about the way the culture of a particular social group is embodied/internalised within the individual.
And with an understanding of the concept of habitus, is it even possible to think that taste can be objective? Is it possible to stop the world and only pay attention to the explosions on our tongue, and the aromas that hits our nostrils?
And even more so, is it actually preferable? Isn’t the subjective taste of taste what makes it truly special, isn’t it ok if we give taste an extra boost with the add-on of meaning, memories, expectations or whatnot?
Nothing appears in a vacuum, and taste is no exception. And I for one, am happy it doesn’t. I am happy that taste comes with a history, sometimes a moral or a political standpoint, and that taste gives me a sense of belonging, attaching me to like-minded peers. I have been so lucky as to have developed new friendships as a result of my particular love of taste, but old friends have also introduced me to new, interesting, life-changing ones.
Still, all connotations aside, there is nothing quite like those few precious moments in life when taste is just about the explosion of the tastebuds. When they meet the best of the best, and that’s where Goethe was right.