Paul Fussell once explained that popular understanding of good taste is the providence of angry, intelligent, old white men. Therefore I bring you this boon.
Good taste: Savory, meaty, smooth, bitter, dark, deep, primitive, hearty sauces, no flavors hidden under other flavors, and if there’s a hint of mold on the cheese, rot on the meat, or the grapes are going bad, this is considered a feature to be cultivated to its highest perfection. See: French cooking.
Bad taste: Sweets, confections, fruity flavors, spicy foods, ethnic transplant foods, hiding flavors considered bland or bitter rather than bringing them out (e.g. ketchup on steamed vegetables rather than simply frying them in butter), anything deep-fried that should be pan-fried, anything grilled that should be slow-cooked, etc. New things, quirky things, simple things, and especially infantilizing things.
Good taste: Liquor should either taste like pure alcohol or something you’d rub on pork ribs, or somewhere in between depending on how bad of a mood you’re in. The experience of drinking the latter should be like drinking gravy made from the fatty runoff of your meat with the dry rub mixed in. The former should taste like fire because drinking liquor is a form of recreational self-harm, though more enjoyable than a teenage girl’s cutting, and if that’s not what you’re looking for you shouldn’t be drinking liquor.
Bad taste: This mixed drink has so much sugar you can’t taste the alcohol, and I like drinking melted jolly ranchers because I’m five. It’s sooooo goooood. I’m still in the mood to engage in self-harm as entertainment but I’m in denial about it because I’m in denial as a matter of ingrained habit.
Good taste: Video games should prioritize writing, then art direction, then sound design, then the feedback between difficulty curve and sensory rewards. Nothing else matters.
Bad taste: User interfaces of any sort, cleverly designed skill trees, detailed graphics, large open worlds, RPG elements, any system that can be “gamed”. A good UI is like a good woman: silent, invisible, intuitive to use, and constantly anticipating the user’s needs in each situation.
Good taste: Black coffee, espresso, cappuccinos.
Bad taste: Mix-ins, sugar, lattes, mochas.
More to come as I think of it.