The Taste Of SourApr 06, 2022
Activating Spring Movement
When I think about how the taste of sour hits my palate the words astringent, bright, cleansing and clarifying come to mind. When I close my eyes and visualize a lemon or tap into the taste of sour immediately salivation begins to happen in my mouth which creates a sense of movement and activity, naturally arising and activating, kind of like the energy of qi rising to the surface in spring.
The taste of sour in small amounts is generally desirable and in larger quantities can actually be adverse. Biologically the taste of sour warns us of not consuming rancid or sour products that might have gone bad and would then in turn be harmful to the body system, so it’s connected almost to our sense of danger.
Sour connects us to the feelings of sour experiences or somebody having a sour face or something that maybe turns the stomach. This taps us into the power of this taste showing its very active and impressionable characteristics. This tone can be a balancing and clearing force used in culinary and medicinal practices and reminds us how to honor and respect, its potential to create movement and impressions on the body system. Think of the experience of taking in something really sour and having that flavor hit the back of the tongue so directly and sharply that the cheeks and the muscles of the cheeks, begin to contract creating a puckering discomfort. It is the jolt of acid that has a powerful force to get things moving.
The taste of sour is associated to the feelings or the colors that are going to be bright. I think of the first rays of the morning sun or the vibrant energy of sour waking up the palate and iInviting things to move.
Culinary uses typically include sour as a way to finish, or brighten a dish a way to enhance and bring acid to more basic round flavors. An addition that highlights the tones and upper ranges of flavor on the palate, It is also utilized as a cleansing and or kind of clarifying flavor that helps to clear the palate and invite the next flavor profile. We can use its flavor to also cut the energies of a dish and temper them to a different dynamic.
The taste of sour is integrated or picked up by the spleen energy, which extracts the first levels of nutriments that we bring into the body from the stomach. The spleen then sends send the taste of sour to the liver where is activates and enhances the movement functions of the liver.
Sour is yin in nature for its capacity to sink and drain things thorough the body, this downward movement travels through the muscular tendon tissue clarifying and activating movment. Think of the reaction of puckering...you cant stop it, that is the sour moving through the muscles of the mouth forcing them to contact and contour your face into a sour pucker.
The liver has a spotlight in spring healing, it plays arole in actively moving and directing biophysical processes, as well as purpose and direction in our life. The liver processes the waking Qi energy naturally moving to the surface of the body to help activate physical movement and flexibility. The sour flavor supports this active energy of the liver to get its job done.
Sour flavor has a tonic effect on the energetic and physical system of the lungs helping hoping to clarify and cleanse any heaviness of grief or resistance in the lungs to full
inspiration and full circulation of breath and qi.
The tastes of sour has the capacity to bind and absorb making it supportive in clarifying and discharging fluids and dampness stagnating in the body system. It can help support the active process of urination and perspiration to help the natural elimination pathways, do the work of cleansing and clarifying.
When we think of using sour flavors and smells in the spring season we are accessing its wisdom and power to help all of this cleansing and active transitional energy that is happening internally and externally, we naturally move from the stagnation, or stillness of the winter into the dynamic movement phase of the spring.
Want to learn more about the flavor of sour? Listen in with Drigo the culinary alchemist about the Taste Of Sour
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