The Science of Our Most Neglected Sense

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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Can you describe how the flavor of halibut differs from that of red snapper? How the taste of a Fuji apple differs from a Spartan? For most of us, this is a difficult task: flavor remains a vague, undeveloped concept that we don't know enough about to describe--or appreciate--fully. In this delightful and compelling exploration of our most neglected sense, veteran science reporter Bob Holmes shows us just how much we're missing.Considering every angle of flavor from our neurobiology to the science and practice of modern food production, Holmes takes readers on a journey to uncover the broad range of factors that can affect our appreciation of a fine meal or an exceptional glass of wine. He peers over the shoulders of some of the most fascinating food professionals working today, from cutting-edge chefs to food engineers to mathematicians investigating the perfect combination of pizza toppings. He talks with flavor and olfactory scientists, who describe why two people can experience remarkably different sensations from the same morsel of food, and how something as seemingly unrelated as cultural heritage can actually impact our sense of smell.Along the way, even more surprising facts are revealed: that cake tastes sweetest on white plates; that wine experts' eyes can fool their noses; and even that language can affect our sense of taste. Flavor expands our curiosity and understanding of one of our most intimate sensations, while ultimately revealing how we can all sharpen our senses and our enjoyment of the things we taste.Certain to fascinate everyone from gourmands and scientists to home cooks and their guests, Flavor will open your mind--and palette--to a vast, exciting sensory world.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780393244427
Branch Call Number: 612.87 Hol
Characteristics: 310 pages ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Flavour


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Feb 17, 2019

Holmes writes a captivating book about our sense of taste. There are so many interesting pursuits going on in the science of flavor. He travels around and gathers up information for the reader about these pursuits of food scientists and even debunks many of our common assumptions about food and taste. Accessible to the non-professional science enthusiast!

Jan 18, 2019

This looks like a good read to describe an articulate food description properly.

Aug 03, 2017

The author had good intentions, but failed miserably.
He claims that people generally can't describe flavour, it is not "as easy as describing music ( with all the terminology familiar only to those who got formal musical training -ha-ha:). Maybe we live in different worlds, I believe the opposite is true - with all the food industry, restaurants, cooking shows, foodies etc. most people like talking about flavour.
When describing flavour he chooses to talk about various junk food like jelly beans and chicken nuggets - I don't know why. I think nobody who cares about flavours wouldn't think about eating such garbage.
The book is so poorly written it was hard to read it ( and I actually didn't bother finishing it).
Trying to read it after reading books by such authors like S. Mukherjee and Lucy Worsley was like trying to eat at McDonald's after eating boeuf bourguignon.
And, really, the most neglected sense is not flavour but TOUCH, if you think about it.

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