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Requested by:

Photo by Paula

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Living In: Olive Branch, Mississippi, USA
Paula is looking for: (3 recommendations)
As I read recipe reviews, I notice a lot of people say the dish is "bland" and needs more spice. I'm curious. For those of you who like spice, do you want EVERY meal to be spicy? I like a huge variety of foods and wouldn't want every meal to be spicy and strong-flavored. I can take the plain, everyday with the full-flavored. As I said, just curious, and I'm wondering people's thoughts on this.

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Last updated: Feb. 1, 2013 3:19 pm
Posted: Feb. 1, 2013 8:30 am
 
Commented by: Don
Feb. 1, 2013 8:39 am
Hi Paula, I love spicy and piquant food but I savoury as well, something with a taste to it, not necessarily spicy but herby etc. Bland to me is tasteless food, no or not enough seasoning. Without any, dishes tend to have no taste at all or strange non tasting. that is my description of bland. hope helps. cheers.
Comments:
Paula
Feb. 1, 2013 8:44 am
That's my description of bland as well, Don. But I've made some of the recipes that people say are bland, and they're just not. They have salt and seasoning but just aren't over the top with herbs or spices.
 
Don
Don
Feb. 1, 2013 8:49 am
Hi, maybe expectations have a part to play apart different tastes and tastebuds. Sometimes, if there is an expectation not met, then the negative "Bland" is used. Possible explanation. again hope helps. cheers.
 
janet7th
Feb. 1, 2013 8:52 am
Sometimes I think reviewers think they just have to find something critical to say to show how smart and superior they are. There used to be a movie critic in our area that was the same way. Cooks should always taste as they go and adjust spices and seasoning to their own taste anyway. I also love the many reviews that say "this is missing something but I don't know what it is". Hope all is well with you and yours, Paula.
 
Paula
Feb. 1, 2013 8:58 am
I agree about adjusting things as you go, janet. I know to be careful with onions. If a recipe calls for a cup of diced onions, I just know it's probably going to be too much for my family (depending on recipe, of course). But I am aware. Same thing for cooking times. I like my broccoli just at the crisp-cooked stage, but I know other people who want their broccoli cooked through and through. Those are things that can be adjusted to suit one's own tastes.
 
Commented by: weeble
Feb. 1, 2013 8:51 am
I don't like my mashed potatoes spicy,but wouldn't mind the main that goes along with them to be spicy. no i don't like EVERYTHING spicy. a little zing here and there is nice. however, there are somethings that i cook that must be spicy according to my son. before i started using rotel, my son loved my chili. now that i use rotel, he LOVES my chili! it adds a real nice kick. we don't have rotel here in canada, so when i do get a chance to get it i get a case of it! LOL
 
Commented by: iceemama
Feb. 1, 2013 9:45 am
I like my food to be flavorful. I even like spicy but not at every meal. There are other things to consider. My dad thinks everything is bland unless it is over the top spicy. Why? Because he smokes and it has dulled his senses over the years. He really can't taste it unless it is about to kill the rest of us.
Comments:
foodiemonster
Feb. 1, 2013 9:56 am
Bland is a taste-bud habit. My mom used to overly salt her food which caused her to end up with high blood pressure and a very restricted salt diet. To her everything was bland, because as a habit she used too much of salt. Same goes with spice, suger, pepper etc. If you develop a habit of eating too much of something, everything less than that tastes bland. Since i don't like too much of any spice, and can totally enjoy the real taste of things i.e. brocolli without any kind of sauce, salt or spice, bland means nothing to me. On the flip side I can handle only very low amounts of sweet salty or spicey foods because my taste buds aren't used to it. So again it's an acquired taste.
 
Paula
Feb. 1, 2013 10:06 am
Interesting comments and things I didn't know. Thanks for adding your thoughts.
 
BigShotsMom
Feb. 1, 2013 10:11 am
Having grown up in a home where salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic powder were the extent of seasonings and herbs sage and thyme were strictly for turkey stuffing (and never replaced until the container was empty, so had likely lost almost all the potency) I came late to appreciate spicy foods. Frequently I fine the suble interplay of mild favors are what make me like a dish others may find bland.
 
goodeats
Feb. 1, 2013 10:22 am
I have quite an extensive spice cabinet & DH & I do not care for bland food. The newest one I'm experimenting with is curry powder as my new neighbor uses it & I had some to use up. I'm really liking it in my soups & stews.
 
Feb. 1, 2013 11:29 am
From a different perspective: I lost most of my sense of smell and have gotten used to people telling me that then I can't taste anything either. No, it's the exact opposite. I became way too sensitive to taste, and it's become worse over the years. I don't use ANY blk pepper in my cooking for a reason!
 
lutzflcat
Feb. 1, 2013 1:46 pm
I think the key word about this topic is “subjective.” What one person likes, the next one may not. Bland to me doesn’t equate to the spiciness of food, it just means little or no taste/flavor. Probably more than most, I really do try to stick to the recipe the first time I make it unless I see something that is glaringly wrong. But that’s not to say that at some point, I taste it and know that to suit our flavor preferences, it needs modification. I’ve been burned too many times when I say “I have to make this exactly as written” only to find out later that it’s inedible. My approach particularly to sugar and spiciness is generally to start right in the middle. We don’t like things overly sweet, and we’re pretty much mid-range on spiciness, so I typically approach those ingredients cautiously. You can always add more, but once it’s in there, you can’t take it out. Been there, done that!
 
ConkyJoe
Feb. 1, 2013 2:40 pm
Couldn’t say it any better than what lutzflcat just said. When venturing into vegan dishes, I’m more suspect that they will have little or no taste/flavor, and yet that doesn’t need to be the case if herbs and spices are used.
 
Koriekiss
Feb. 1, 2013 3:19 pm
Not sure what everyone said up above but spice and spicy are two totally different things. Spice could be salt, pepper, garlic, oregano etc. And yes, I think food needs that.
 
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