Korsmeyer (1999) explores the history of ‘taste’ and how it was used not only in the literal sense as it applied to food, but also in a metaphorical sense in regards to the ability to discern beauty and aesthetic qualities.
“Philosophers have assumed that the sense of taste affords little of theoretical interest. Too closely identified with the body and our animal nature, it seems not to figure in the exploration of rationality or the development of knowledge. Therefore, taste is omitted from epistemology’s discussions of sense perception, in striking contrast to vision, which receives a great deal of attention for its delivery of information about the world” (1).
Gustatory taste can divide and unite classes, race, and gender. From a moral standpoint, food can serve as both a bodily pleasure and a vice of gluttony. In Christianity, the enjoyment of food and eating is cautioned against as a ‘sin’ of gluttony. There are narratives of eating and ‘gustatory semantics. Food can serve as a key component of the plot of a story, the dramatic focus of an event or provide symbolic attachment.
Korsmeyer, Carolyn. Making Sense of Taste: Food & Philosophy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999