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Is flavor lost in translation?

As the WorldCup kicks off this weekend, I ran across the CNN article on the right pronunciation of “Qatar.” I found it quite interesting that a word that has a precisely defined meaning to one of our senses, our eyes, could be distorted in translation for another one of our senses, our ears. It got me thinking about whether there was such a thing as taste misinterpretation – several people reaching a different taste interpretation of the same foods.


My wife and I have always been fascinated by food. We have traveled extensively around the world and eaten many different foods. A common and recurring pattern is how, as a people, we all like the same types of food but within the context of familiar cuisines. Most people know, but only a few genuinely remember how subjective our taste preferences are. Many factors influence your preferences, childhood exposures, familiar cuisines, economic status, and genetics. With this restricting so many people from unlearning current habits and creating new connections and relationships with food, taste appears to be an underexplored sense.


In today’s connected world, we can access almost any cuisine imaginable. Many still limit food experiences to anything within past experiences or best assumptions (built on the same past experiences).


How can we remove the restrictions that prevent us from accessing food? Why is there a language, cultural, or geographical boundary to enjoy and appreciate great food?


What if your next favorite meal is hiding in a foreign language on the menu pages of a Korean restaurant just a few miles from you, and you don’t need to understand that “여기 당신이 가진 최고의 스테이크가 있습니다” means that you are about to enjoy the best steak you’ve ever tried. We created TasteDNA to level these hurdles to experience fantastic food and flavors.


TasteDNA is an app that presents a new perspective on our relationship with food. A crowdsourced food preference database that helps everyone articulate their relationship to food. We are removing barriers to trying new things and creating a community of adventurous food enthusiasts.


Imagine listening to your favorite songs on Spotify, and then suddenly, you hear a new song playing, it’s the best song you’ve listened to recently, and you check the artist so you can get more of this audible sugar rush. That’s it right there; This new song blessed your ears with what you like based on trends and patterns around what you already enjoy. We’re building the same platform but for your taste senses.


The taste sense differs from listening to a song because you can skip the track if you aren’t willing to commit to the next few minutes. On the other hand, taste requires a greater level of commitment. That’s why we created TasteDNA. We have removed anxiety and uncertainty from trying out new things because we provide food recommendations to your unique taste profile based on your preferences.


It is true that, as a people, food nourishes the soul. As long as we all eat and have a soul, food is the only great unifier across cultures. With the TasteDNA app, regardless of your background, you can experience new varieties of food you already enjoy from every cuisine, taking you on a pleasant taste adventure.

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