Sense and the city: Taste, New York

Soul-sisters Whitney and Danielle have turned the fast-paced eat-outers of Manhattan into healthy eat-iners since they launched Sakara Life in 2012. Each of their meals, designed to help you feel good in your body, is delivered to your door.

How important is taste to your life?

Taste is a huge component to being able to take pleasure from food, and eating for joy is something that we believe in wholeheartedly.

Was good, healthy food always important to you growing up?

WT: Absolutely. I was always the kid that no-one wanted to trade lunch with. My peanut butter sandwiches were homemade and had twigs sticking out of them.

What is your first memory of taste?

DB: I remember the taste of steamed broccoli and carrots with butter as a young child. As an adult it seems a really boring dish, but as a kid the flavours were so strong and impactful.

How did you both come to realise that you wanted to set up a business centred around empowering people through food? 

WT: I was working in finance, was stressed out and suffered from cystic acne. I tried everything and nothing worked so I went back to my roots, back to what I learnt from my mum while growing up. Back to food as medicine and the key to health and glowing skin.

DB: For me, food had become an enemy. No matter what I ate I never felt good after I ate it. I started to create nutritious plant-based meals that turned this around for me. Then I thought that there must be others out there who felt the same. So we put Sakara Life out there and had a huge response.

What in your opinion makes something taste great?

If it’s really fresh and made with love it will taste great, guaranteed.

How long have you both lived in New York?

WT: I’ve been her for seven years and Danielle for nine years. We’re both originally from Arizona.

Is taste implicit or is it something that is learnt?

DB: I think the more you taste the more you learn what you like. But then there are lots of outside factors involved like habitat and how hungry you are that can change that.

What effect does living in New York have on your sense of taste?

WT: We’ve all become perfectionists because we’ve had the best of the best for so long.

DB: It’s also broadened our sense of taste. You get to eat your way around the world every day.

Map out your perfect tasting day in the city?

We’d start with a wander to Union Square Market(on Saturday mornings). This is the best place to get a taste for what’s in season. For brunch, the Monterey Eggs at Butcher’s Daughter are taste heaven. Followed by a vegan ice cream at byCHLOE. My tour would continue into Chinatown. There’s such an energy there and you’re hit by the interesting smells from all sides. For dinner we’d go to either Dimes, a great low-key spot with amazing flavours, or Kiki’s for a great home-cooked meal.