The other day I had a cheat day that left me feeling let down. I eat for a lifestyle of health and fitness. I watch my carbs and grains. While I can have a cheat day once a week, it usually ends up once every two or three weeks. 

With the holidays upon us, treats abound. I was at the store the other morning and the chocolate chip cookies were on sale. 25¢ each. I should have known better, but I bought two. 

I ate them. They were a huge let-down. 

I love chocolate chip cookies and have baked them most of my life until I made my lifestyle change and banned grain carbs from my diet. Gluten-free was my forte for years too. I have a standard for chocolate chip cookies. Real butter, brown sugar and good chocolate chips are all important. Vanilla is key. 

When I bake, I end up making dozens of cookies, so I don’t bake, even on cheat days. I will eat them all, as they come out of the oven. We won’t go there. 

My flavor memory of my perfect chocolate chip cooky is chewy, chocolatey, with nice butter and brown sugar overtones. When I lived in Europe my cookies turned out amazing. I learned later that it was the high butter fat and great chocolate that was not available in the US at that time. 

The cookies I ate the other day did not live up to my memory flavor and experience. 

Today, I had the same experience with a tamale. Flavors were flat and boring. 

I am coming to the conclusion that as we age, our taste buds change and our memory of foods we like becomes glorified. I know that we do perceive some tastes differently as we age: salt is one of those that our perception changes. This is different, I think it’s memory building up something that really isn’t. 

Enjoy your holiday treats - memorize lovely flavors so you can enjoy them when they no longer are. 

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