Personal preference, when it comes to taste and flavor, depends as much on conditioning and experience as on the actual taste buds. The same little sensors on different people's tongues may have a violent or favorable reaction to a given food item depending on the individual's personal history with it.

I remember clearly being able to choke down just one bite the first time I was served raw tuna. I was around 10 years old, and it was at an awards banquet for my Japanese-language school. More than anything in the world, I wanted to speak Japanese, but I wanted to eat like a native as well.

With the tuna before me, however, I somehow couldn't get past the messages I had received since birth that fish was to be cooked before it is consumed. It took several more unpleasant meals with raw fish before I was able to overcome the mental block and let my taste buds kick in.