Whilst buying perfume for my wife, the assistant kept offering us a glass of coffee beans to 'cleanse our olfactory palate' in between smelling fragrances.

I had heard of 'palate cleansing' before, but never thought of it in an olfactory way, nor heard of using the smell of coffee beans.

Now there is some mention of palate cleansers on the internet, but I wondered if there was a particular craft of 'palate cleansing' when eating particular foods - or even if particular types of palate cleansers existed for particular types of foods.

My question is: Are there particular palate cleansers for particular foods?

  • The answer is, undoubtedly, "yes"... But otherwise this seems like a very broad list-type question. Some of them are acceptable here but they generally are discouraged.
    – Catija
    Jun 21, 2016 at 18:29
  • Well you would want a basic for acidic and visa versa
    – paparazzo
    Jun 21, 2016 at 18:59
  • 1
    I think this is fine in the sense of "does this sort of pairing exist?" - it's when you get to the point of asking for specific palate cleanser/food pairings that it'll get really dicey.
    – Cascabel
    Jun 22, 2016 at 2:16
  • White bread or saltine crackers are used for many food tastings (and drinks ... I once participated in a cola taste-test). I've also had citrus sorbet in between courses in fancy restaurants (French and Chinese). I've also heard of milk being used when sampling hot sauces (which helps with the heat)
    – Joe
    Jul 13, 2017 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


Pickled ginger is the proper palate cleanser to use with sushi, which helps keep flavors from mixing when you're trying several different kinds of rolls. So at least with sushi there's a specific palate cleanser, and I imagine there are others for other types of food.

  • 1
    but what makes it "proper" instead of simply traditional?
    – rumtscho
    Jun 21, 2016 at 19:36
  • Even if it's just tradition, it still answers the OP's question - people prefer certain pairings with palate cleansers, just as they do with foods, and they're probably pretty subjective about it, just as they are with food.
    – Cascabel
    Jun 22, 2016 at 2:14

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