Our group is taking on a workshop series on all the senses. When the idea for this workshop series came to me, I got super excited about it. I knew this first workshop on Taste would be a challenge, because how can one really write about taste besides the obvious list of adjectives?
For this workshop on taste, everyone brought a different fruit to share. Since we had a lot of fruit and limited time, we chose 3 fruits (orange, banana, lime). The idea was to eat a piece of fruit, then take 10 minutes to write down the experience of eating that particular fruit. For example, its taste, its texture, what it makes us feel or remember. After each fruit, we went around and shared what we wrote. The range of things people wrote was simply amazing. At one point, there was even an epic rant on how bananas suck. Safe to say, it was hilarious! Anyway, here were my thoughts after I tasted a piece of banana.
It tastes exactly like it smells—sweet, but a dull earthiness to it. A waxy resin from the peel attaches itself to the sides of your tongue. The banana is a subtle fruit, but just as powerful a taste as orange. It lingers and its taste grows. And that is the type of fruit it is too; the longer it sits and gets ripe, the more strong it becomes in its taste, like wisdom.
My mother used to serve us Mexican rice with bananas (some call it Spanish rice). The earthy taste of the banana was the perfect complement that brought out the sweet acidity in the tomato. And somehow it made the bouillon in the rice taste more savoury. It is the perfect food for kids: bananas with Mexican rice.
Banana changes when you bake with it. It becomes more of a smell than a taste. It browns and you can taste its brownness fermenting in your nose.
I think this workshop series will be a great exercise in using senses other than sight in our writing. Fiction really comes to life when a writer can capture all of the senses.
Be sure to look out for the second part in this workshop series, which will cover how to write about smell.