The Palate

If I inhale, or exhale – in many of these simple and seemingly irrelevant movements – inspiration is highly possible. Beyond these movements, for many years, another great source of inspiration has been the coffee universe. Not because this roasted seed has so much to offer as drug and realm of flavour, but because it allows me to touch on a variety of topics I find to be crucially important in life or serve as reference to these.

For the past three years an additional activity has manifested itself as a further source of inspiration – celebrating pipes and cigars. Writing about coffee and tobacco is by no means about colporting and missionizing for these activities and the use of its products. As daily and joyfully as I practice these and as much as I aim to contribute towards the best possible delight in them, they are used to address the respect, attention and dedication I find life demands from us in general. Handling these topics and life with such detail, leads me to one basic, existentially simplistic and complex thing: our palate.

My interest for the palate is focused on its function (biology), the perception (experience) and the pleasure (luxury). Being biologically balanced allows us to function well, contributing to the physical existence supporting our spiritual one. As we perceive, our experience grows and solidifies reasoning and an array of examples helping us understand our spiritual being. Reaching a level of attention that brings appreciation, expands our being into a sphere beyond being healthy and useful in our surroundings, but being pleased and joyful about our existence as well. Its function includes protection from danger, digestive assimilation and health preservation. The perception serves greatly the importance in sensing taste in the myriads of profiles available to us, but it contributes to health aspects as well. The logic or reasoning for pleasure in itself is not very clear to me, but, considering the tastes that nature offers to us in a banana, an apple, rosemary, garlic, avocado, strawberries or blueberries, plus the world of profiles of cultural origin like cashews, vanilla, coffee, wine, whiskey, tobacco and many others products that are not directly nature given but are fruits of experience, trial, error and selective preference on part of different societies and cultures, we are safe to gather that the world of flavors is the principal purpose for our palate as perceptive organ, enhanced by the olfactory system.

Nothing, NOTHING seems to me more existencially pleasant, important, and relevant than experience. The New York Palate League guides and supports the experience of the palate and its many ramifications, through simple and guided tastings, accompanied by educational exercises.