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Taste and Aroma - How it Works For You

Taste and Aroma - How it Works For You

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Published by kvolding
Why food and wine should taste. visit .http://bit.ly/Fusioncuisine
Why food and wine should taste. visit .http://bit.ly/Fusioncuisine

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Published by: kvolding on Feb 25, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 ==== ====Get Umami back in your Food !!http://bit.ly/Fusioncuisine ==== ====Taste and smell work as a team, both adding dimension to what we commonly perceive of asdistinct sensations. They also share the unique quality of being internal, that is, we experiencethese two senses entirely inside our own head. What we see can be pointed at and objectified,what we hear is external to all of us and what we touch can be felt equally by all. Assumingnormal, unimpeded sensory information we can easily agree on the qualities of sight, hearing andtouch. But, not so with the qualities of taste and smell. All of our senses have been important to our survival as animals and our cultivated ascension ashuman beings. Most people have played the game of, "if you had to live without one of yoursenses, which would you choose?" and for most of us it's a question of losing sight, hearing ortouch. We forget about smell and taste. I think smell and taste are the most basic senses, themost individual and the most intriguing. I'd most regret the loss of smell or taste. The average human can differentiate 10,000 distinct aromas and many of us have a much broaderdiscrimination. Aroma is detected by the olfactory bulb located at the top of our nasal cavity,tucked underneath the front of the brain. Aromatic messages come through the nose and aretransmitted from the olfactory bulb to the limbic part of the brain wherein is located our higherorder emotions, memories and speech. Auditory, motor and visual input is interpreted in the backpart of the brain. We have all experienced the unexpected flash of memory that arises from anaroma, bringing back numerous other details of a time or place long forgotten. It is almost magicalthat such vivid recollection can come flooding back through our sense of smell when all the mentaleffort we might have exerted failed to stir the memory. Smell goes right to our deepest memoriesand emotions. Smell is extremely important. It protects us from consuming spoiled foods and warns us ofimpending danger. There is some evidence to support the idea that women have a more subtlesense of smell then men because they had to decide what foods were good to eat and what mightbe poisonous. Our sense of smell also has a defensive blockade built in so that the same aromawill be blocked after it is introduced by olfactory sensation. This is a protection against particularlynoxious odors. When you read a book the author will quite often evoke the external sensations to engage yourimagination but much more rarely smell or taste. Even though we eat every day, scenes in fictiondepicting tasting and smelling are rare. It's easier to "paint a picture" of external details than toarouse the reader's internal sensations. This is true of movies and TV entertainment as well,although the Food Network has successfully exploited our natural sensory appetite. Words, it turns out are simply inadequate in capturing the subtle nature of aroma and taste. Informal tasting exercises the only recourse is a shared vocabulary. That's the idea behind the
"aroma wheel" developed at the University of California in Davis to formalize the categories ofsmell in wine tasting. If you had to describe what vanilla tastes like how would you do it? What about melon or the smellof woodland pastures on a spring morning? Its not as tough to describe what a melon or a pasturelooks like. This is the quandary facing wine tasters that leads to the seemingly absurd descriptorsutilized to evoke wine aroma and flavor. Everything from blackberry and mint to tar, coffee, pencilshavings, black licorice and even cat's pee on elderberry. Some descriptors seem to make sensebut others are outlandish ... until you try for yourself. If there are 10,000 and more possibilities itseems inevitable that eventually you'll have to use odd combinations of words that get as close aspossible to what you're perceiving. And even then, there is no certainty that your perceptions areidentical to another taster's. When it comes to taste, a separate sensation that turns out to be integrated with smell, there arefour, or perhaps five flavor components to deal with; sweet, salty, bitter, sour and the recentlyadded umami. These flavors are picked up by the taste buds that are on your tongue and in yourmouth. Most foods and drinks excite more than one of the five flavors but some are pretty one-dimensional and can be agreed upon to characterize the flavor. Lemon juice is sour, white sugar issweet, radicchio is bitter and salt is, well ... salty. What about umami? Umami is a Japanese word.It's a pleasant savory taste that can be detected in meat, fish vegetables and dairy productsalthough it is rarely as distinct and separable as the other four. Umami blends with other tastesensations to add dimension and roundness so, I'm personally still on the fence about whether it isa distinct fifth flavor. Flavors are, however more objective, and they can be more readily agreed upon, but in yourmouth food vaporizes and rises up through neo-nasal passageways to find, once again yourolfactory bulb. Thus, as you "taste" you also smell, and taste is greatly magnified by the aromasthat accompany it. That's why your sense of taste seems to be so blunt when you're congested.Your tongue is tasting without the benefit of the olfactory stimulation. Recent studies have concluded that all our sensations work together and that emotion andmemory really plays a part in how we perceive and interpret the world around us. When we eatand drink we cannot entirely ignore cultural disposition or personal attitudes. Some of us don't likespicy things, some don't like astringent things, some of us are put off by aromas, textures orflavors that others find irresistible. It has even been shown that our values and assumptions canbe confused by simple tricks like dying white wine red or being told that a cheap item is actuallyvery expensive. There are different theories of how and why we form our tastes. Some would say there are"tolerant tasters" and "sensitive tasters", "expectant palates" or "experimental palates". All wouldagree that these characterizations are external models that may or may not exactly fit the reality ofyour individual, internal tastes. It is also becoming clear that even disciplined, experienced tastersdo not consistently reach the same conclusions in repeated tests. That, to me is the ultimate proofthat your taste is your own. My final advice would be to indulge your taste and eat and drink mindfully. 

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