Saturday, June 2, 2007

Is an acquired taste worth acquiring?


The glass of Guinness pictured is surely one of the most beautiful sights the world has ever known. It is right up there with the Pieta, the view of St. Peter's through the keyhole of the Knights of Malta and a Kentish field on a November morning. The trouble is, I can't stand the stuff. It tastes like a milky, watery, yucky medicinal drink the school Matron would serve to a boy who was suffering from lack of iron. It's obviously an acquired taste. The question is: is an acquired taste worth acquiring? Will the effort be worth it, will it be of longterm benefit. This deep philosophical question must be answered. Even though it's not really a meme - I welcome thoughts - and I tag the Roving Medievalist, Mulier Fortis and the Hermeneutic of Continuity.

11 comments:

Fr. Daren J. Zehnle said...

I feel the same way about beer and coffee in particular. I suggest: No, it is not worth it in the end.

Simply ask yourself this question: if you already know you do not like the taste of the stuff, why in the world would you ever want to get used to something you don't even like?

MMajor Fan said...

I never liked beer at all into my 30's. Then, as I frequented London for business and pleasure, pubs and beer became inevitable. A colleague convinced me to try a warm (of course) bitter and I actually liked it. It was an acquired taste and for some years I did enjoy it, even buying bitter once in a while in the states. However, as friends and business change, I no longer like the taste of beer, since it was all social, and find that actually, I have an open mind to Rain Gatorade now.

Mac McLernon said...

Hallo, Fr Owl... thanks for the "tag": quite a challenge really!

I've tried to answer the question here

Jeffrey Smith said...

Hmm, very interesting. Unfortunately, Fr. Daren has answered just about the same way I would. I hate it when he does that. ;)
Ah, well, it gives me an excuse to post one of the toucan signs.

Jeffrey Smith said...

Mischief managed.

Histor the Wise said...

If I recall correctly, C.S. Lewis writes in "The Abolition of Man" about the need to train youngsters to enjoy good, true and beautiful things.

If you have to learn to enjoy something, isn't it an acquired taste?

And isn't it obvious that goodness, truth, and beauty are worth the effort of acquiring a taste for them?

So...I would say an acquired taste is worth acquiring if it's objectively good.

Beer and coffee, however, are subjective goods. They're good only if you think they're good.

"Histor" the "Wise"

John Parker said...

Another possible answer is that aquiring a taste is often no more than getting past the first shocking difference of something and finding the good in it.

I do agree with others though. If the item in question is not a "net good" for you then you probably ought not to put effort into aquiring a taste for it. I would recommend giving it an objective fair try first.

As an interesting note, both heavy dark beers and coffee are now said to have positive health bennefits that might make them tastes worth aquiring.

John

Theocoid said...

While I don't abhor Guiness, I'd take Celebrator Doppelbock or, my favorite, Spaten Optimator over it any day.

John Seymour said...

To paraphrase Mr. Franklin, Guiness is proof that God exists, that he loves us and that he wants us to be happy.

the owl of the remove said...

Thanks for all the thoughts - I think I'm still going to avoid the dark stuff - but a number of pubs will be visited when I'm home in a few weeks, including my old haunt 'The Cardinal' behind Westminster Cathedral.

Mac McLernon said...

Heheheh... do let us all know when you will be frequenting the Cardinal pub, Fr Owl...

(and will you be venturing south of the river at any point in your travels?)