Eating is such a pleasure for some people. Photo: Pablo Merchan Montes

Have you an appetite for flavour?

Appetite is a funny thing, isn’t it. The definition of appetite is ‘a natural desire to satisfy a bodily need, especially for food’. But having an appetite or feeling peckish doesn’t meant that you are hungry but that you fancy something to eat. But what happens if you are hungry but don’t have any appetite?

Food can mean different things to different people. Some people eat because they simply love food and are trying to eat as much different flavours, textures and aromas as they can.

For others, it is a comfort when they are sad, angry or depressed while for others it’s a reward when they did well. And then others just eat without pleasure just because they have to.

Appetite is regulated by the digestive tract and the brain and I am sure there’s a more scientific explanation for it but it seems that appetite has a close relationship with our behaviour which processes our energy intake.

When we get stressed, appetite can increase and hence makes us eat more. Some people need to regulate their appetite more than others as it can lead to them becoming overweight.

It surprised me that appetite can be based on genetic and/or environmental factors and that abnormalities in appetite might not be easy to regulate without help and lead to serious conditions. But let’s go back to our normal appetite – isn’t it funny how different it can be from person to person? I like pizza for example and can leave chocolate alone while Mr T loves chocolate but could leave pizza alone.

So how is appetite affected by our environment? And how come that some people simply don’t care about what they eat but use food only as fuel – something I never understood.

For me, food is about my appetite. I open the fridge and see something that ‘takes my fancy’ and my brain says: go for it girl. The same happens when I am in town and looking for a place to eat – that’s the reason I haven’t been to some of the cafes and restaurants in town yet. Blame it on my appetite.

But how did my appetite develop? Over many years, I guess with all the influences I have experienced on this beautiful planet.

I have been fortunate enough to have experienced a lot through food in different countries and thankfully, I have met many people through food who helped me with their very own love of food to learn and expand my own palate.

I have turned into a glutton on the way as I find it difficult to say no to good food!

Will my appetite change in the future? There’s still so much food I haven’t tried yet, so many flavours still to explore – I have never really eaten Japanese food apart from a few dishes at Miyazaki but have never been brave enough to order anything I didn’t know. What a coward does that make me, hey?

Let’s raise your appetite for 2022.