Saturday 22 October 2011

Epistemologically Unsound Conclusions Concerning Japan and the Japanese, Based on Japanese Television

Number one in a series of some.

“Japanese people can’t taste bitter food.”

Look at this. And this. Also this. Oishii and Umai are (seemingly the only) two Japanese words for delicious. These are to be uttered either at a pitch and volume sufficient to make bats’ ears bleed, or in a muffled grunt as you spray your dining companions with the remnants of your half-finished mouthful. And it's the reason for the latter we're interested in here.

Look at the clips again. The barks of pleasure are pretty much instantaneous, aren't they? Usually before the food has even reached the back of the mouth, let alone been swallowed. Now, if you look at this (widely discredited, but let’s go with it) taste-map of the tongue, you’ll see that the ‘bitter’ area is at the back. These tasters don’t even wait for the food to make it back there before offering their evaluations. The only logical conclusion is that they don’t actually realize there are extra flavours to be experienced, because Japanese people are incapable of detecting bitter foods.

This would also explain why Japanese coffee is normally so shit. It’s like expecting an anosmiac to create a beguiling perfume.

Bonus Material - 
There’s probably an oral sex joke somewhere here as well, but I can’t think of one so I’ll claim to be above all that. See if you can do better/worse. Maybe watch that first clip again from the start, I'm sure that ice-cream will inspire you.

No comments:

Post a Comment