DailyDirt: No Accounting For Taste?
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Quantifying how our taste buds react to different ingredients isn’t an easy task. It’s hard enough to get 4 out of 5 dentists to agree on a toothpaste, so it’s understandably difficult to get untrained taste testers to agree on what kind of flavors they prefer. The assumption that there is a single “best-tasting” formula for a particular food is unrealistic in many cases, anyway, as Malcolm Gladwell’s popular TED talk on spaghetti sauces discusses. Still, food science has to take some kind of measurements, and here are just a few examples.
- If you want to hone your tasting skills, you have to practice, practice, practice. And maybe buy a bushel of different apples and try to describe each variety in as much detail as possible…. [url]
- A fascinating study of Asian and Western food recipes shows that Western dishes tend to pair ingredients with similar flavors, whereas Asian recipes don’t. So the “sweet and sour” sauce is only on an Asian menu, but this study goes into far more depth than that. (And there’s a free article on taste, sponsored by Ajinomoto.) [url]
- The hottest pepper on the planet goes to the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion with an average Scoville Heat Unit value of 1.2 million. Some individual peppers from this plant have hit 2 million Scoville heat units, and this research will allow hot sauce companies to scientifically claim to use the hottest known peppers. [url]
If you have some more free time, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.
Filed Under: flavors, food, palate, recipes, scoville heat unit, senses, spicy, taste
Comments on “DailyDirt: No Accounting For Taste?”
Taste Is Actually (Mostly) Smell
Most of the flavour you pick up from food and drink is actually through your nose, not your tastebuds.
Re: Taste Is Actually (Mostly) Smell
That may be true for some tastes, but not all? I don’t think I smell saltiness or spicy or sweet.
But definitely the aroma of things affects taste.
“…this research will allow hot sauce companies to scientifically claim to use the hottest known peppers.”
…Which will have nothing at all to do with how the sauces actually taste, but will appeal to the machismo of those consumers who pride themselves on their insensitive palates. Maybe they’ll be stocked in the same aisle with the super-long hot dogs, Mach-5 razors and Rogaine.
I love eating Asian. 😉
Re: I love eating Asian. ;)
Meal of you long time.