Sensory Experience – Hearts of Palm

I was walking the grocery store for thirty minutes until I came across a can of hearts of palm. I kept looking for something that was unknown to me and I happened to walk across the canned section of the grocery store. I took the can, paid for it, and drove home.

Original Picture – taken by moi at the grocery store

Once at home, I washed and opened the can and noticed that there were five cylinder-like palms in there. They were soaking in clear water that had a fresh smell to it. The smell was refreshing and it reminded me of the produce aisle at the grocery store. And even though they are of an off-white colour, they smelled like leafy green vegetables to me.

I drained the water in which they were soaking and grabbed one of them with my hand. It was slippery and soft to the touch. I proceeded to take a bite. It was crunchy at first and almost tasteless. After a couple of bites, it started to dissolve in my mouth, and I could feel a bitter after-taste to it. It tasted like raw asparagus, and I do not like asparagus. I decided to keep eating and I kept having small bites to try to understand the flavours behind the hearts of palm, even though it was not pleasant to me.

Hearts of palm are tasteless, bland, soft-crunch and boring, but they also tastes green. They taste just like a regular raw vegetable. The green flavour reminds me of lettuce and the crunchiness can be compared to that of raw celery. Hearts of palm are also juicy, the juices come out with every bite you take, leaving behind a gentle bitterness in your mouth.

By experiencing this new flavor and trying this new vegetable, I learned that my palate is very adaptable, however, the flavours that I dislike on a regular day would always be triggered if I try something similar, which is the case with the asparagus. I do not like asparagus and because hearts of palm reminded me of them, I was not able to enjoy eating them. I did not want to keep eating nor did I want to add them to my food.

I could not toss them, so decided to add the remaining palms to my plate of rice the next day. I tried to do another sensory experience with the palms in the rice and my perspective did not change. The palms camouflaged in the flavour of the rice and I could only find the crunchiness, but the raw green flavour had disappeared. I could not enjoy the rice simply because I knew that there were small pieces of hearts of palm in there and this thought was at the back of my head, so I did not finish eating my rice. I kept frowning my face in dislike with every bite.

From this experiment, I realized that I like things that have a strong smell and taste. I am always attracted to foods that are appealing to the eyes and add flavour; such as colourful spices and/or colorful vegetables. I would not eat or buy hearts of palm again if I had the option because I found them to be boring. They are not unique or special. Their flavour and look is similar to other foods. For example, if they are cut in small circles, they can be easily compared to scallops and they also look like a very pale asparagus.

I wonder if other people share my thoughts on this or I am the only one who does not enjoy hearts of palm?

One thought on “Sensory Experience – Hearts of Palm

  1. Hello Maria!
    You can prepare Hearts of Palm salad.
    Ingredients: 1 small avocado, 1 cup” pico de Gallo”, 1 can hearts of palm, olive oil, salt.
    Enjoy it!


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