For some, the fear of certain tastes can trigger intense and long-lasting anxiety, as well as a host of physical maladies. The fear of sourness, known as Acerophobia, is more common than you might expect.
Reasons For The Fear Of Sourness
Sourness shows up more in certain foods, and these will be avoided by the person who suffers from Acerophobia. Some common examples of sour foods are lemons, grapefruit, limes, and some dairy products that have been fermented.
Everyone has a different palette, and all people react to tastes individually. Those who fear sour tastes may have a more delicate palette than others. While all the taste buds register the same basic flavors and provoke the same reactions, some people are simply more sensitive to sour sensations.
Sour gums and candies are very popular in America today, but these will be avoided by those with Acerophobia. Some examples of sour candies are Sour Patch Kids, which come in the shape of a pacifier. These mouth-puckering treats are popular with young and old people alike, but they will repulse the person who fears sourness.
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Sour Patch Kids A Trigger?
Other foods such as vinegars and sour cream can also illicit a negative reaction in people with Acerophobia. Chips with salt and vinegar flavoring tend to cause a strong reaction in most people. They are quite powerfully flavored with a full complement of sour tastes. People with this phobia will avoid flavors like salt and vinegar.
Sourest Chips Ever?
In the scientific community, the “pucker” response to sour foods is still somewhat of a mystery. Some researchers believe that the “pucker” response is a defense mechanism, whereby the body signals the possible presence of spoiled or contaminated food.
Is Acerophobia Hereditary?
It is also possible that the reaction each person has to sour foods is of a hereditary nature. In other words, it runs in families. If your father or mother enjoy or dislike eating sour foods, you may well have the same tastes. It’s possible that a phobia about eating sour things may stem from this individual, inherited reaction to certain stimuli.
Sour milk is a potent trigger for Acerophobia. It can really make a person violently ill. People who’ve experienced gastrointestinal distress as a result of bad milk or milk products may feel sick just at the thought of tasting sour foods.
Sometimes, a delicate stomach can be a primary reason for Acerophobia. Fears about stomach acid, nausea, or vomiting will inhibit the phobic person from trying any new foods that might have sour tastes.
In certain cuisines, more prevalence of sour flavors is found. For example, some hot and sour soups, and sweet and sour sauces are popular in Asian cuisine. While many love eating these intensely flavored soups and sauces, others will avoid Chinese restaurants etc. where such food is served.
The fear of sour foods is generally controlled through avoidance. For example, a person with Acerophobia will prefer to prepare their own food. They will shop carefully, avoiding any triggers. And they may be reluctant to engage in public eating at social functions and restaurants, in case they are taken by surprise by sour foods.
Buffets will present difficulties for the person who fears sour foods.
Some common symptoms of this phobia include panic attack symptoms, which provoke nausea, dizziness, and terror.
Treatment for Acerophobia should feature psychotherapy to get at the root of issues. A course of anti-depressants can sometimes be effective for people suffering from intense phobias.