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USA Today this morning reports on a new study suggesting that people who are “foodies” - or, put more pejoratively, food snobs - may actually have a different palate than most people.

Such people, the story says, “favor three distinct flavor characteristics above all others: bitter, such as radicchio or kale (62%); umami (a Japanese word meaning pleasant savory taste), such as soy sauce and miso soup (61%); and sour, such as plain yogurt and sourdough bread (59%), according to a new, national online survey of more than 500 consumers by the research firm Culinary Visions Panel.

“Foodie flavor preferences are in stark contrast to that of the general population, whose favorite flavor characteristics are far more familiar: sweet (81%) and salty (67%).”

According to the story, “The survey also revealed big differences in flavor preferences among the age groups. Gen X, Baby Boomers and seniors preferred salty and sweet more than Millennials. Millennials ranked the more adventurous flavor profiles such as bitter, sour and umami higher than other age groups.

“But mainstream consumers were mostly thumbs down on foodie favorites. Only 19% liked umami, 18% liked bitter and 16% preferred sour.”
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