mushrooms

Taste

Are you getting your share of (Z)-3-hexenal?

 

If not, you may not eat tomatoes. Or too few. Cis -3-hexenal is the chief flavour component, among many others, that appears in significant quantities in tomatoes.If you believe, like many others, that paradise apples aren’t very tasty these days, we won't accuse you of being a flavour-denier.

Well, this website would be boring if we, more often than not, agree. I believe that tomatoes, generally, have lots of flavour. 

To keep your palate sensitive is what we promote as chefs and to provide you with expertise and food-for-thought on this subject, if you dare to read on.

Did ingredients taste better some 80 years ago? According to historic food literature, yes. Or have we lost some of our taste and smell ability due to evolution? We certainly haven’t been kind to artisanal ways of food production. Did we condition our palates in such a way that only an overdose of salt, spice and sugar triggers taste sensation?

Taste and flavour perception, like other faculties, must be learned, developed and certainly practiced over and over. The more we know the more questions we have. I don't want to discourage you, so you’re invited to join us in surprising, provoking and stimulating your palate. Read on.

  • Umami seibun - the foundation of flavour

    cuisine umami

    On MSG and how to tame this beast. (And on getting better flavours into your dish and why that improves food and wine pairings.)


    Flavour enhancers often enough are a topic around the dinner table, not only for the health conscious but also certainly for any conscientious cook. It's no surprise that I certainly disapprove of the use of monosodium glutamate, commonly referred to as MSG, found in many convenience foods as well as in apparently popular stock cubes and stocks. I hope that after reading this column, you will remove it from your kitchen.

    Read more about umami.


  • More taste, more pleasure

    taste flavour

    About basic taste and flavour knowledge that may help cooks and diners to improve their tasting awareness.


    Flavour is the combination of olfactory sense, gustatory perception and chemisthesis (mouth-feel or tactile impression) or to put it more simply, it is the interaction of aroma, taste and touch.

    When we consider olfaction, or sense of smell, it is important to realise that many of the sensations we describe as taste are actually aromas (olfaction). 

    Okay, you're still looking for the pleasure part, read on.


  • Common taste and flavour terms explained

    taste flavour terms

    Flavour glossary:


    Taste

    Sensory impression comes from distinctive water-soluble substances affecting the gustatory sense (taste receptors - on the tongue and oral cavity). Taste of course is also a term used for a preference in eg food or fashion.

    Bitterness

    Comes from substances (polyphenol being one common one) that are often found in green vegetables eg endive, arugula, green peppers and other products. It is, at times, confused with astringency. Did you know that about 30 % of the population has a low tolerance to bitterness in foods?

    More terms here.


  • On lemon, glutamic acid and tastier dishes

    lemon cooking flavours

    This is the superstar ingredient. Wide-ranging culinary use elevates the humble lemon, more than tomatoes, I suggest, to the most important fruit in cookery.


    Its pleasant acidity (citric acid) delivers focus and critical taste intensity to all sorts of dishes,
    from seafood preparations, salads, soups and main courses to desserts.

    The lemons etheric oil, extracted from skin and leaves, not only adds seasoning, but also provides fragrance. Before the first bite is eaten, your olfactory senses are stimulated.

    Squeeze here for more juice.


  • The cause and effect of food and wine

    The cause and effect of food and wine

    The hocus pocus of food and wine matching undone.

    A biog topic, coming up very soon!


  • To be a good cook you have to be a good taster

    cook taste

    Tasting is believing, we say. Start excercising and switch on your taste intelligence.

    We'll provide the program here, soon!


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