Schrödinger’s Taco

It’s true to say that perceived authenticity — whatever such a label suggests to the perceiver — does not change the flavour of the food a person eats. It does not alter the function of the taste buds, neither inhibits nor intensifies the brain’s taste receptors. But to suggest that the only factor inherent in making an eating experience pleasurable is the brain’s interpretation of taste would be foolish. It’s only one part of the equation. The other senses come into play in a big way, as do emotions and memories — that’s how the idea that what I’m experiencing is in some way more “real” than a Big Mac combo can set alight the pleasure centre in my brain’s nucleus accumbens.

— “Schrödinger’s Taco,” on authenticity and food, at Medium


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