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Palate Patrol 2014

Photo: Balanced Food Palette
Photo: Balanced Food Palette

I’m not even close to being a grammarian and would fail deeply as a copyeditor (my persnickety background comes from the library sciences, the most unscientific of all sciences–and wildly fluctuating self-esteem bolstered by others’ mishaps). I’ve caught myself saying literally for emphasis, and pre-hoarding barrage in pop culture, often mixed up hoardes and hoards. And really, does anyone really care about the difference between hardy and hearty?

But the rampant abuse of palate/palette/pallet is reaching epidemic proportions and can no longer go unchecked. It’s not enough to note a few errant examples on Twitter or verbally in passing. I must begin collecting and archiving  for future generations, though I don’t plan on going out of my way to be offended. Examples will likely only stem from my casual RSS’ing and social media skimming.


Ok, this is the headline for what’s likely the final entry of 2014: “Food Psychology: How To Trick Your Palate Into A Tastier Meal.”

Good, good. But it’s all a trick because deep into the text there is this “Just as a palette-cleansing dish can refresh your taste buds, he says telling jokes before a meal can lighten the mood and improve the overall dining experience.”

“But a bout of Christmas boredom years ago inspired my mother—the woman who inspired my foray into cooking and is infamous in the family for her kitchen prowess—and my father—the man whose adventuresome palette inspired my own fearless one—to try to adopt a new custom.”

Yep, growing weary now–I can’t even tell what’s correct anymore. I believe the following could be read either way.

“Plenty More (Ebury, £27), a beautifully produced vegetarian cookbook from the endlessly inventive Yotam Ottolenghi indicates that his food palette is broadening (an American recipe for sweet potatoes with orange bitters, Thai red lentil soup).”

As the year draws to a close, I’m excited to have finally spotted a rare case of pallet bungling. I’ll finally be able to relax in 2015.

“Just the volume of this donation is incredible,” said Palouse Cares President, Rick Minard. The palette holds over 16-hundred cans of soup equaling more than 700 pounds of food.”


“The massive insurance cost for top taster Sebastian Michaelis’ tongue works out at £100 per taste bud and is designed to protect against a sudden palette malfunction.”

“Just because you don’t have access to food doesn’t mean you don’t have a sophisticated palette,” said Emily Hagel, a chef there.”

“And, athletes often have to train their palette similar to how exercise trains your body, to be able to tolerate certain foods whose function is to optimise recovery or maximise performance.”

“If you’re a food purist with a gourmand’s palette, this innovative eatery may not be your bag, but anyone who wants something new, something different, something completely unique will love every single second of their meal at this Willy Wonka-esque wonderland.”

“And while Yuengling, the ‘PA version of PBR,’ was a relative hit, other items didn’t work out so well for the West Coast palette.”

“The nose and the mouth are connected. During eating, the tongue and palette push air upward into the nose. And that’s what produces the sensation of flavor.”

“It’s a good example of a raw milk cheese that tells of its terroir; if you close your eyes you can begin to taste the warm essence of hay and summon Alpine scrubland and mountain sunshine to your palette.”

“Another piece of apple really cleanses the palette and primes it to enjoy another piece of cheese.”

“It’s a roller coaster of emotion on your palette, which matches the clientele of Obscura.”

And from the same article:

“We are going to be presenting our new menu; it’s going to be comprised of all of our new food items and will have a cocktail attached that best fits the pallet of the flavor involved.”

“It’s an exciting cleanse of palette to hear about the upcoming release from the admirable Ben Chasny with his project Six Organs of Admittance.”

“I think the sophistication level of the palette, particularly the American palette, is changing, and that demand for better or more interesting or more dynamic food options is totally what’s driving this.”


“It is God’s palette cleanser to take the bitter taste of your last experience out of your mouth.”

“There is food everywhere in this town, and your palette can travel from China to India to Malaysia and back again in less than a day.”

“He didn’t bake pies in his mom’s kitchen. He didn’t send back PopTarts or believe his palette was too sophisticated for fast food.”

“Adorned with three cherries and just the right amount of grenadine my palette started out the evening pleasantly.”

“I like the hotness of the southern cuisine, when it is getting close to being Mexican. It is wonderfully exotic to a Scandinavian palette.”

“Incorporating more whole grains into your weekly diet is both beneficial to your health and to the palette.”

“After living in New York City for the past nine years, I’d say my palette has become much more developed and discerning.”


“Coupled with the growing popularity of food-related TV programming, the American palette is expanding with the desire for broader, more sophisticated flavor profiles.”


“I love balsamic vinegar, so we did a balsamic vinegar reduction and who doesn’t love bacon?” Rusty said. “Hey, I just thought it would go so I put it together. Everybody has burgers but we have a variety of burgers that are creative and appeal to everybody’s palette.

Written by a copy editor:

If, despite all your strategies and good intentions, you do eat something dangerous – say, a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg you happened to find left over from Easter — make sure to follow that up with a piece of fruit, which can function as both a palette cleanser and a “channel-changer.”


“It’s very light. The ginger comes across stronger on the nose than on the tea. It awakens the palette,” he says, confirming that you can’t say that and sound like Bogart.


How Foodspotting, the book, was born.

“When Alexa Andrzejewski traveled to Japan and Korea in 2009, she was rather hungry. It wasn’t one specific dish she had her heart and palette set on, however, but rather a roving buffet of local delicacies.”


Joshua David Stein likes his words. And sometimes–often actually–I like his words too. Which makes this passage (now corrected) in his review of M. Wells Steakhouse in The Observer all the more egregious.

As for those doomed fishies in the concrete trough, they became the truite en bleu ($30). Guests able to stomach ordering a real-time execution would witness them plucked from the pool, clubbed over the head, then gutted, bathed in vinegar and poached in a court bouillon. They arrive at the table Sinatra-eye-blue, with heads unnaturally bent, looking as sad and poetic as an Enrique Metinides photograph. But fresher fish you’ll not find, nor flesh more yielding to fork or pleasing to palette.


A restaurant named Palates opened in Bushwick. This is actually not misuse since it’s meant to be a double entendre; it just sounds funny.

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