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Tastes great at home but nasty on high altitude ski trips

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

...or vice versa.

 

I'd like to see if any of you have personally noticed significant taste perception shifts in nominally standard products between "at home" - presumably low altitude  and  "ski trip"- presumably at 5000 feet or higher.

 

Let's keep it to altitude higher than 5000 feet.    Let's keep it to standard-label products that would presumably have the same makeup when purchased in either place.

 

I'll start.

 

Foul low,  decent high up:

 

Starbucks'  Dark Roast Sumatra  - completely nasty at home, smells of overflowing sewage.

Jaegermeister 

 

Good low, foul up high:

 

Vlasic kosher dills  - the sweeter ones are soso OK at altitude

Sebeka Pinotage -  actually true of a lot of Pinotage but that one in particular

 

 

I very definitely expect some of you will have beers that will end up on this list.

post #2 of 29

High altitude has a lot to do with changes in baking (obviously), and water does indeed taste differently from locations to location regardless of altitude.  Honey, local butter, protein, etc. can all taste differently based upon the location,because of the local vegetation and what the livestock or poultry is fed.  But do our taste buds change with the altitude?  I dunno about that.  I really never noticed a difference in the taste of beer brewed in one location based upon the altitude where I consumed it.  Drinking it cold vs. warm makes a difference, but that is to be expected.

post #3 of 29

Gee, I find everything tastes better on a ski trip.

post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

...or vice versa.

 

I'd like to see if any of you have personally noticed significant taste perception shifts in nominally standard products between "at home" - presumably low altitude  and  "ski trip"- presumably at 5000 feet or higher.

 

Let's keep it to altitude higher than 5000 feet.    Let's keep it to standard-label products that would presumably have the same makeup when purchased in either place.

 

I'll start.

 

Foul low,  decent high up:

 

Starbucks'  Dark Roast Sumatra  - completely nasty at home, smells of overflowing sewage.

Jaegermeister 

 

Good low, foul up high:

 

Vlasic kosher dills  - the sweeter ones are soso OK at altitude

Sebeka Pinotage -  actually true of a lot of Pinotage but that one in particular

 

 

I very definitely expect some of you will have beers that will end up on this list.

I learned long ago that the same brand beer, identical bottle, same add on TV, etc., tasted very different in Alberta than in Ontario.  Appearently they brew popular well-marketed mass-produced brands to "local" tastes.  Who knew?   On the other hand a Guinness or Smithwicks or some other imported beer from a particular brewery does seem to taste the same to me (although my tastes may change in what I fancy at the moment).

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post  But do our taste buds change with the altitude? 

 

Yes.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/business/airlines-studying-the-science-of-better-in-flight-meals.html?pagewanted=all

 

I picked 5,000 feet because it allows city meals in Denver to qualify as high altitude, and because of this study:

 

http://www.amsciepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/pms.1972.34.2.667

 

Quote:
When the four tastes were considered as a unit, a significant difference (α=0.05) resulted between sea level and 5,000 feet since the lower the altitude the more sensitive was the composite taste response.   However, no significant difference resulted in going from 5,000 to 10,000 ft.

 

For the purposes of this thread, let's call Reno high altitude also.

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 


And yet another article on physical reasons for airline food to taste bad.     Of the 3 reasons listed (low relative humidity , low pressure, high rate of air replacement), only one does not apply in ski towns (high rate of air replacement).    And yet no one talks of similar tasting conditions applying in ski towns.


http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/05/the-evolution-of-airplane-food/371076/

 

Quote:
 Today’s planes, which reach altitudes of 35,000 feet or more, are pressurized so you only feel like you’re about 6,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level. This helps keep you, you know, breathing at those high altitudes, but it also numbs your taste buds, making food taste blander.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

...or vice versa.

 

I'd like to see if any of you have personally noticed significant taste perception shifts in nominally standard products between "at home" - presumably low altitude  and  "ski trip"- presumably at 5000 feet or higher.

 

 

At the risk of bringing up the obvious, what about canned tuna?

 

My biggest food-at-altitude learning doesn't have to do with taste. It happened when I tried to boil some potatoes for my condo mates and myself at 9,000' up on the hill in Silverthorne a few years ago. Half an hour later the potatoes were still like rocks. Of course I had heard about the low-boiling-point phenomenon, but at the end of a long ski day my brain was too fried to think of it, or at least to take it seriously. Next time I will take it seriously.

post #8 of 29

My home is at 5000+

Everything tastes great all the time. 

post #9 of 29

Post ski nachos always taste great be it at a low ski area to a high one. Not usually a beer drinker but a cold one after a day of skiing, I will add that. Plus beer and nachos go well together. 

post #10 of 29

I have been here too long to notice differences between stuff purchased back east and consumed there, versus stuff purchased THERE and consumed here.  I don't know how you'd even test this without buying at ONE source and then flying around with it.  As to above or below 5000?  My house is at 3650, the mountain summit is at 6817.  I can't seriously imagine anything changing between those two altitudes either.  

 

Now, pressurized vs NOT pressurized?  More likely stale cabin air.  

 

All I know is my WATER tastes great.  

post #11 of 29

You ain't skiing hard enough. :D

 

Everything tastes good after a good ski day.

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

You ain't skiing hard enough. :D

 

Everything tastes good after a good ski day.

QFT

post #13 of 29
Everything taste good outside. :-$
post #14 of 29
Ever drink a carbonated beverage while you are taking diamox for altitude sickness. Yuck.
post #15 of 29

Sam Adams is better at lower elevations. It literally jumps out of the bottle most of the time at altitude. You loose half the beer if you aren't ready with a glass. I do like my beers poured to reduce the carbonation but foamed is over the top (pun intended).

 

I hadn't been below 8000 feet for two years until last week when I had to go to Denver twice for a friend's medical problem. My point of reference is somewhat distant, time-wise.

post #16 of 29
Freeze dried food. Tastes decent down low or on the first 2 days or so of a trip, but after 7+days it'll make me uninspired to eat (and tear up the insides to boot ).

zenny
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

Freeze dried food. Tastes decent down low or on the first 2 days or so of a trip, but after 7+days it'll make me uninspired to eat (and tear up the insides to boot ).

zenny


Lived off freeze dried food for a week once while backpacking and then I ate a really nice prime rib dinner as soon as I got off of the trail.  OMG! :eek  I was in such pain I could hardly stand it.  My stomach had gotten so used to the baby food-like feeze dried stuff, it had a coniption fit.

post #18 of 29

  Yup. Mountain House tastes the best (imo) but tears me up the worst. Backpackers Pantry tastes like crap and makes me feel like it too :( One of the reasons I started baking backcountry pizzas, quesedillas, and fish on a rock over the fire--cuts down on the freeze dried intake :).

 

    zenny

post #19 of 29
Re: the OP. Sorry, but Jagermeister never tastes good. High altitude, low altitude, after a day of skiing hard, inside, outside, backcountry for three days...even when hanging out with women, that stuff is horrid.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

My point of reference is somewhat distant, time-wise.

Living high up obviously taints perspective. I do think some things smell stronger at altitude, and taste probably follows. Noting coffee as a positive, most beers as a positive, food like steak as a positive, crappy stinky food as a negative.

So eat and drink well when you ski.
post #21 of 29

This is all curious to me. I will start paying attention, I guess. I eat a lot of food up around 10K ft, and live at 5500; I never really noticed anything (besides cooking issues, of course).

post #22 of 29
Me neither.
post #23 of 29
I don't notice anything either living at 7,400. But having grown up at sea level, I can relate a bit on some stronger smell/taste associations.

One thing I still notice is that I am not very comfortable indoors at much higher altitudes (like 14K) in small buildings. It is a little bit funky to me for some reason. I wonder if the relatively small pressurized cabins of planes has some of this effect for people who are essentially heading to 7,500 feet from sea level.
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 
 

At the risk of bringing up the obvious, what about canned tuna?

 

Does nicely with diced peppers and a tiny bit of mayo, but the tarragon is lost entirely :)

 

Quote:
 
  • 30x30px-ZC-d925014c_ESAlogoofficial2010CS4.png

    cgeib
    "Yeah, potatoes are a challenge here. First world problem though;)"

 

'coz 2nd worlders never threw out their steel pressure cookers?   ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post
 

Sam Adams is better at lower elevations. It literally jumps out of the bottle most of the time at altitude. You loose half the beer if you aren't ready with a glass. I do like my beers poured to reduce the carbonation but foamed is over the top (pun intended).


Hot (over 15.5%) wines, particularly Zins, have a similar effect for me.    Not so much 'jumps out of the bottle' as 'you can smell that someone opened one in the kitchen from the basement'.       This is not a particular problem on the night of consumption, but on the night /after/ that the entire house reeks of red wine in a nasty sour vinegary way.

I have to say that I've never had a problem with champagne, cremant or prosecco.    I have noticed that Cali Mumms tastes better than french Mumms when up high, but that's been a low bar of late.   Cava tastes like bilge everywhere.

post #25 of 29
^^^^I've wondered, but never bothered to find out, if thinner air leads to higher concentrations of aromas, and then you get associations (positive or negative) to the stronger smells.

Smell the wine from the basement sounds exactly like that...
post #26 of 29
I spend a lot of time below sea level. I must be a gourmand. Food, beer - everything tastes good to me everywhere. Altitude does increase the flatulence. Perhaps that could affect those around me in relation to enjoyment of foods. Apologies.

Eric
post #27 of 29
A lot of time below sea level? Interesting. Submarine crew? Death Valley? Do tell.
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

A lot of time below sea level? Interesting. Submarine crew? Death Valley? Do tell.

 

His food all tastes of scuba regulator?

post #29 of 29
Salton Sea. Minus 230 feet. It was almost 50c yesterday. I exaggerate, only 47. Today is cooler, 113f but the humidity is higher. Sorry about mixing c and f - the radio reports in f and my car was set on c. With temperature like that ,the density altitude is a couple thousand feet so maybe I don't get a real altitude difference. It does get cold in winter (not really) but at least the density altitude can be below sea level then.
Of course anyone who spends time at the Salton Sea has suspect taste.
Eric
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