The Frontal Cortex


From a very interesting interview with Anthony Bourdain:

AVC: Do you ever feel like your sense of taste or smell was diminished by your drug use?

Bourdain: Who knows? I think, technically, male palates start to decline very early anyway, around 27 or 28. That’s what God made salt for.

On a related note, I used to work in restaurants, and was always fascinated by how my perception of saltiness would fluctuate over the course of a night. You get really sweaty working the line and, by the end of a hectic shift, nothing would taste salty enough for me. I’d sweated out so many electrolytes that my tongue was literally craving a salty refill. Yet another reminder that cravings are contextual.


  1. #1 Dizzlski
    January 9, 2008

    I, as a rule, abhor salt in its granular form; even on french fries. I did not have salt in my home (I am 28) until this past Thanksgiving, when I wanted to bake something for a work party. I speculate my body has adapted in some way to have me enjoy certain salty foods. Over the past few years, I have upped my exercise length and intensity. While I have absolutely no desire for anything salty during the hours after my midday workout; I find myself sucking down olives and pickles when I get home. It still strikes me as a bit odd that my body can direct me to what it needs by having me crave foods I enjoy; but I don’t mind.

  2. #2 Jen
    January 10, 2008

    I love the smell of salt – my dad works for a salt company and often came home smelling of it when I was a kid (or with salt crystals in his eyebrows, which I still think is funny). He puts salt on everything, probably because he’s around it all day long. I think I have been averse to salt in the past, till I tried it on salad and just couldn’t believe a salad could taste that good. So now I’m all for salt in moderation – but not necessarily in tv dinners…

  3. #3 Elizabeth, MD, PhD
    January 10, 2008

    When I used to work 24 hour ER shifts, I occasionally would eat a small bag of potato chips while walking home from work.

    I believe I keep myself well-hydrated generally; when I fly I do not make an effort to drink more water (as going to the bathroom on an airplane is not recommended) but rather eat some salted snack to keep the water I have on board.

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