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The "uncanny valley" of my taste buds?

Because one of my doctors is concerned that I might be developing a lactose intolerance, I recently bought myself some lactose-free milk. I had a small glass of it that night, and my experience of it was very strange. It was definitely very milk-like . . . but it wasn't quite right. And that very small difference was enough to make me choke on it. And yet when I poured it on my cereal and used it in my protein shake the next morning, it was fine.

And that made me really wonder. I've had other milk-like things—soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, etc.—and I've enjoyed them. Rice milk even works on cereal. They are all milk-like, but definitely not milk. But here was something that was definitely milk, just without lactose, and it was wrong!

This reminded me of the "uncanny valley" phenomenon* and got me wondering if something similar were applicable to the sense of taste. It's the only reason I can think of for the lactose-free milk being so very wrong despite being almost exactly like normal milk. Seriously, the differences are really small: it's just a bit too white in color, there's a tiny amount of graininess to its texture, and it's just a touch too sweet**. And all of these differences become essentially meaningless when the milk is used for anything other than straight-up drinking, presumably because the other flavors involved overpower them.

Anyway, food for thought . . . as it were.



**Which is absolutely baffling. They took the lactose out! How does that make the milk sweeter?!?



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 30th, 2016 01:49 am (UTC)
How weird. How is it in tea?
Sep. 30th, 2016 01:50 am (UTC)
I have not yet tried it in tea. Perhaps I will do so tonight. If I do, I'll let you know.
Sep. 30th, 2016 02:35 am (UTC)
It seems to be just fine in tea. :)
Oct. 13th, 2016 05:55 am (UTC)
Hooray! :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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