You know what I love? Things that are delicious! Which is basically why I picked up Flavor by Bob Homes – I hadn’t heard of it before but the cover looked tasty. (You know what I do not love? Flavour spelled without the U. American spellings don’t generally bother me as I’m reading and I try not to be uptight about this, but a title in big font? Makes my eye twitch.)
Anyway, there’s some neat stuff in here. Like,I have long wondered, even as a picky kid, why broccoli is such an archetypal loathed vegetable. Apparently bitterness receptors vary from person to person so probably some people are actually tasting more bitterness in their broccoli rather than just being whiners. And now that I think about it, as a kid when we had the four tastes in school (umami wasn’t a taste yet, although Pluto was still a planet) I was kind of baffled by bitterness because the examples never seemed that similar or distinctive. I tend notice it most in beers, although obviously that wasn’t suggested for elementary school kids.
Also some cool stuff about artificial flavours (yeah, I’m putting back the U). Foods usually have a bazillionty flavour compounds (approximate number) and artificial flavours are made by picking out a few of the most important chemicals. Reminds me of those drawings that use just a few lines to great effect. I wish there was more of this but alas, flavour companies are secretive on account of trade secrets and it freaks people out to be “eating chemicals.”
There’s also a bit about people who are working on tastier supermarket varieties of produce like strawberries and tomatoes, which have been bred for looks and easy shipping. I hope that turns out to be a wild success.
I feel like this post has somewhat of a “But wait! There’s more!” quality. It’s a broad topic and the chapters aren’t that closely related, which I see has annoyed some people. But I like variety. Almost as much as gratuitous U’s.