Sorbet To Cheese: 11 Palate Cleansers And Why You Need Them
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Palate cleansers are an integral part of a meal, serving to cleanse the palate and prepare it for the next course. They are essential in multi-course dining, allowing diners to fully appreciate the distinct flavours of each dish without any residual tastes from previous courses. Palate cleansers help to rid the mouth of any lingering flavours, guaranteeing that each course is experienced with a clear and unbiased palate.

Types Of Palate Cleansers

Palate cleansers like ginger or digestive teas are known for their digestion-aiding properties. They can make it easier for diners to enjoy several courses without feeling too full or uncomfortable. Refreshing qualities like coolness or acidity in palate cleansers can help invigorate the senses, especially in rich or heavy meals.

Acidic foods like citrus fruits or vinegar have the ability to cut through heavy, rich flavours and give your palate a fresh start. The acidity in these foods stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to wash away any lingering tastes. If you're looking for a quick palate reset, try indulging in some cold foods or beverages like sorbet or ice water. The cool temperature can slightly numb your taste buds and provide a refreshing contrast to warm or hot dishes.

Another way to cleanse your palate is by consuming astringent foods and drinks, such as green tea or certain fruits. These can create a drying sensation in your mouth, reducing any residual flavours and giving your taste buds a revitalising experience. Lastly, high-water-content foods like cucumbers or melons can physically wash away any lingering tastes due to their juiciness and hydrating properties.

Palate cleansers should be light and straightforward, not dominating in taste. Their purpose is to rejuvenate the palate without a strong flavour of their own. It's best to offer them between courses, especially between dishes with intense or conflicting tastes.

Keep the portions small to prevent diners from getting too full and to ensure a quick and effective cleansing. Opt for palate cleansers that enhance the overall theme and progression of the meal. For instance, a citrus sorbet could be served after a seafood course, while pickled ginger could precede a rich meat dish.

11 Effective Palate Cleansers


Sorbets are versatile and can be crafted from a range of citrusy fruits and vegetables, like lime, grapefruit, or orange. However, lemon sorbet remains a top pick for its traditional and beloved flavour that leaves the palate feeling refreshed.

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Herbal granitas crafted with mint or basil offer a cool, icy consistency and a pop of fresh herb flavour. You can also try other refreshing options, such as cucumber or watermelon granitas.

Pickled Ginger

Gari, the pickled ginger commonly served with sushi, offers a sharp, slightly sweet, and tangy taste that refreshes the palate in between sampling various types of sushi.


Cucumber slices are not only hydrating but also have a refreshing, clean taste. Cucumber water infused with cucumber is also quite revitalising.

Citrus Fruits 

Sucking on a lemon wedge can give you a sharp and refreshing burst of flavour. Sweet and slightly acidic, oranges also cleanse the palate gently.

Herbal Teas 

Peppermint tea's menthol refreshes the mouth, while ginger tea will warm and cleanse the palate.

Green Apples 

Tart and slightly sweet green apple slices can cleanse the palate effectively. They contain dietary fibre, which can aid digestion, helping diners feel comfortable throughout the meal.


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Crisp and neutral in flavour, celery is a great palate cleanser. It is composed of about 95% water, which helps to wash away residual tastes in the mouth. This high water content hydrates and refreshes the palate.


Plain unsalted crackers have the ability to balance out flavours in the mouth. Their neutral taste pairs perfectly with salty dishes. They are great when you're exploring different types of wine, as they help reset your palate. 


The creaminess of yoghurt has a soothing effect on the palate, especially after a spicy or rich dish. Yoghurt contains lactic acid, which can cut through strong, lingering flavours. The acidity helps neutralise the palate and refresh the taste buds.


Small portions of mild cheeses like mozzarella or ricotta can serve as palate cleansers in between stronger-flavoured dishes. With its rich and creamy texture, cheese can coat the palate, helping to neutralise strong flavours and refresh the taste buds.