Everyone is entitled to their own taste preferences. What tastes delicious to one person could taste absolutely disgusting to another for a number of reasons.
This applies to all foods, even arugula. While countless people love to pile up its leaves in their salads, soups, or smoothies, others find themselves asking: why does arugula taste like dirt?
With all popular foods, there are detractors. In this article, though, we’ll focus on arugula and why some might find the taste disgustingly earthy.
Quick Answer: Why Does Arugula Taste Like Dirt?
There are a few reasons why you might feel that arugula tastes like dirt. One might be that you simply haven’t eaten arugula when it’s at its best, which is within a few days of being harvested.
The other reason is that you’re just genetically predisposed to not enjoy arugula’s flavor profile.
We’ll examine both these possibilities in more detail below.
Why Different People Taste Different Flavors
It’s no secret that some people like particular foods while other people hate those same foods. You could have the same arugula on a plate, and one person will love it while another person eating from the same plate will despise it.
This is because we each have genetic and physical factors that make us like certain foods and avoid others. A recent finding discovered that many people, for instance, think cilantro tastes like soap because of a difference in their olfactory genes that heightens the soapy undertones.
Aside from genes, another factor behind your disliking of arugula could be the way your taste buds are configured. Some people have more taste buds, which can lead to them picking up on tastes that others with fewer taste buds wouldn’t notice.
What Arugula Should Taste Like
Previously, we mentioned that there’s a possibility you haven’t eaten arugula during the time it’s meant to be eaten. Considering that arugula has a notoriously short shelf life, this could certainly be the case.
When it goes bad, arugula takes on a bitter and earthy taste. It makes sense that it could taste a little bit like dirt.
So what should arugula taste like when you’re eating it at the right time? If it’s freshly harvested, arugula has a spicy and peppery flavor. Many people like to intersperse it in salads, because it brings in a lively kick to tasteless dishes.
The sooner you eat arugula after harvesting, the better it will taste. But if properly stored, you should be able to keep it for up to around a week before it’s past the point of no return.
At the end of the day, you can’t expect everyone in the world to like the same foods. Variety is the spice of life, and part of that means differences in preference.
If you think arugula tastes like dirt, we’d recommend at least trying to eat it when you know it’s fresh. Assuming you’ve eaten it when it’s fresh as can be, you might just need to accept that this is one leafy green you need to skip out on in the future. Fortunately, there are plenty of other greens out there for you to try.