Are You Experiencing Flavor Fatigue?

People eating simple fast food
Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

It’s no secret that 2020 did a number on people. And while 2021 is looking better than the previous year was, people are still being impacted significantly by the anxiety and stress that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into our lives. And, surprisingly, this has an impact even on the foods we’re choosing to eat.

Interestingly, studies have shown that feeling mentally depleted reduces our interest in complex flavors, making people instead gravitate to familiar and simple foods like potato chips and chocolate. We want comfort, and complicated dishes with lots of different flavor components just lead us to flavor fatigue, something that happens when we’re already mentally drained.

So if you’ve found yourself lately choosing to make your classic, comfort food recipes at home like mac and cheese, pizza, grilled cheese, and matzo bowl soup, you’re not the only one—and there’s a real, scientifically backed reason why.

So don’t feel bad next time you pass over the complex, flavor-intensive dishes you once loved and buy another bag of cheese snacks or vanilla ice cream instead. It turns out that the 2021 phenomenon of flavor fatigue might be the reason for that – and it’s totally okay. After all, you deserve the simple pleasures in life.